Kim Porter’s Sudden Death Has Many Calling Out Doctors Who Ignore Black Women’s Pain

<<enter caption here>> on April 27, 2017 in New York City.

Kim Porter’s Sudden Death Has Many Calling Out Doctors Who Ignore Black Women’s Pain

Concerns are growing over discrimination in health care.

Published November 18, 2018

Details surrounding Kim Porter’s death are still surfacing but reports say she passed away after being treated for pneumonia.

  1. While not implicitly a continuum, it follows a trend in America that’s been going on for far too long: black female women not receiving the adequate medical attention they deserve while in intensive care.

    Black women are three times more likely to die from being pregnant than white women and black people in general are systematically undertreated for pain.

    Remember Kira Johnson, who passed away after a treatable post-delivery complication because doctors reportedly took too long to act? Or even Serena Williams who almost died during childbirth?

    While Kim Porter didn’t die due to having a child, it’s curious how treatment was ended for her pneumonia and she died soon after.

    Last month, brought you the story of Danielle Radford, a comedian who was hit by a bus and went viral for sharing her story and the fact that doctors simply subscribed her Advil for her pain. Sure, she went viral for the absurdity of the story, but also, because she sparked a conversation for so many black women, who have also received less-than-adequate medical care for serious ailments mostly because they were simply not believed.

    The Washington Post reports that a 2000 study out of Emory University found that at a hospital emergency department in Atlanta, 74 percent of white patients with bone fractures were given painkillers compared with 50 percent of black patients.

    WaPo also highlighted a 2007 study, which found that physicians were more likely to underestimate the pain of black patients compared with other patients.

    Again, it’s unclear what actually happened in Kim Porter’s case, but if medical neglect had anything to do with her circumstance, it wouldn’t be the first time, even for a healthy and financially well-off celebrity.

Written by Paul Meara

Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images


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