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What Serena Williams's scary childbirth story says about medical treatment of black women

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by SummerMadness, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. SummerMadness

    SummerMadness Senior Veteran

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    What Serena Williams's scary childbirth story says about medical treatment of black women
     
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  2. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Rich or poor, patients try to diagnose their own situation and are met with resistance.
    Likely poor people make the most suggestions and get ignored the most.
    Do white rich people get better treatment than black rich people?
    Do white poor people get better treatment than black poor people?
    In the same building under similar conditions?
    If so, is that due to racism or some other factors?
    Do black people react to authority figures (in this case health care providers) different than white?
    Do black people have social conflict with authority?
    Are wealthy black people humble?
    Are wealthy black people different from wealthy white people?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  3. CRAZY_CAT_WOMAN

    CRAZY_CAT_WOMAN Happy Father's Day.

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    Wow! That was scary. I'm glad she's better now. But I think this could happen to any unlucky woman. At least it didn't kill her. I think a lot of doctors dismiss a lot of woman's problems. So , if you have a problem. You need to keep bugging the doctor, ER. I feel sorry for the poor person, that could die. Because of her lack of insurance.
     
  4. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    My daughter is light skinned enough that a person might visually think she was biracial. In one case, a doctor specifically asked her if she was all-black or biracial before he would give her additional pain medication. She had to tell him she was biracial--so not being wholly black, he gave her stronger medication...because there has been verification that American doctors believe blacks have a higher pain tolerance than whites.
     
  5. SummerMadness

    SummerMadness Senior Veteran

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    Yep, you hit the nail on the head, one of the arguments I've seen is that the opioid epidemic hasn't affected African Americans as greatly because doctors will not prescribe them pain medication, prescribe them less if they do, or stereotype them as drug seeking if they do ask for pain medication.

    The disturbing reason some African American patients may be undertreated for pain
    I've experienced this firsthand, I went to a doctor about pain and he completely ignored what I was telling him claiming I couldn't have such pain. Well, wouldn't you know I had to come back and finally have my problem addressed properly? It was quite an odd experience because I figured that someone getting a PhD would be treated differently (I know that doesn't gibe with the arguments some are making here that black people are uneducated and "defiant"), but the stereotype that African Americans feel less pain is the main culprit. It really stands the testament of time that the age old racist argument that African Americans experience negative outcomes due to some moral failing persists.
     
  6. Liza B.

    Liza B. His grace is sufficient Supporter

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    Having gone through my share of health issues in the last many years, I can tell you that if you march in to the hallway and tell ANY nurse or doctor that you need XYZ test and an IV drip of XYZ medicine, they are not going to comply. And yes, Williams is black, but she is also a celebrity. And they STILL didn't comply.

    Medical professionals love their expertise and their credentials, believe me. And Williams stomped all over them by telling them exactly what she needed. Even if she was right. That NEVER goes over, no matter what race, religion or culture you are.
     
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  7. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    I think you're right, even though when a patient is so very specific about tests and regimen, you'd think a smart person would stop to listen for a moment and at least check it out or ask more question.

    I'd say the recourse, then, is always to have your own doctor on speed dial to back you up.
     
  8. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure that was the reason? I understand that different races are at risk for different diseases. Sickle cell anemia keeps coming to mind. Is it possible that the reason was more medical risk based?

    Or did he state that was the reason?
     
  9. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    I'm not proud of this, but it happened back in 1982: I was a very good retail hi-fi and video salesman (back when you could make a living at it). I won lots of sales contests and always tried to get the customer what was going to be best for their needs and budget and let the commissions take care of themselves.

    One say a couple came in and right away said they didn't trust salesmen. They were relatively poor but had saved for a LONG time to buy a VCR. Hi-fi and video was my hobby, and I loved it, but they showed an amazing lack of respect for my career. I ended up selling them a Sanyo Beta VCR that was the most unreliable piece of junk we sold. And I fully knew the Beta format was on the way out.

    I ask everyone to learn from this when dealing with people you expect to serve you. This one sale was definitely an aberration to my normal sales style back then, but it is a lesson in why it is important to treat people serving you with respect.
     
  10. SummerMadness

    SummerMadness Senior Veteran

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    Someone fell back to education level and attitude towards authority without recognizing this has long been an issue.

    Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying in Pregnancy and Childbirth
    Not education. Not income. Not even being an expert on racial disparities in health care.
     
  11. PreviouslySeeking...

    PreviouslySeeking... Active Member

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    I believe there is a significant problem. I do believe that many doctors dismiss the concerns of women, and I believe that is further exacerbated if the woman is Black.

    My mother is dead. She complained of particular set of symptoms & requested a chest x-ray for 2 years. Her doctor told her repeatedly that she had allergies & told her to take different meds. She finally got her x-ray & they discovered lung cancer- too large to remove surgically.

    My mother was a polite Black woman deeply saturated in respectability politics. She lived, and died quietly.

    Similarly, I just had surgery to remove over a dozen good sized fibroid tumors. Google the list of symptoms, I've had them all for over 10 years & complained to various doctors. I've been told a bunch of things by people who didn't really look or listen to me.

    They almost had to take the whole uterus & there was no good excuse for it. It is in my family history. Black women have a higher rate of fibroids & they begin at younger ages for us. I had insurance & went to appointments. My condition isn't rare.

    I don't trust doctors anymore. I can tell you more stories of Black women either misdiagnosed or who received delayed diagnosis because docs said "nothing is wrong."

    I have suggested on other threads- research and advocate for yourself. Have a family member that will advocate for you. Too many doctors are too busy thinking 3 patients ahead & don't see the one in front of them.
     
  12. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    That same type of scenario has happened to a couple of my white friends as well. I don't really think it's about race all the time, though some people are racist so I can't speak for every case.

    For me, the problem isn't racism. Rather, it is poor quality medical attention in general. Doctors are like the rest of us. And all that that implies.

    Furthermore, this is one reason that, as a 64 year old, I have no health insurance. I don't need it. I use the internet very effectively and trust the Lord. And when he wants to take me, I'm here waiting. :)

    One other thing: If I were to get something like cancer, well, I'd use something like the Gerson method anyway. No Chemo or radiation for me. And stuff like Gerson is cheap. But I prefer to avoid the whole thing by reducing my risk through diet and lifestyle.
     
  13. SummerMadness

    SummerMadness Senior Veteran

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    Please stop dismissing the story of this woman because even if you know some white people affected in the same way (no one ever said white people are not affected), black women are disproportionately affected by this. The statistics have been posted in this very thread, including more information in the articles, so even if you anecdotally have seen something, the bigger picture is that African Americans are receiving worse treatment.
     
  14. SummerMadness

    SummerMadness Senior Veteran

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    I am sorry you had to go through that, I hope that we can improve things moving forward, if people would simply stop denying the reality of this problem, we can start to see changes because there is no reason for a black woman in America to receive substandard healthcare due to the color of her skin.
     
  15. PreviouslySeeking...

    PreviouslySeeking... Active Member

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    Of course you don't think it is about race, but here's the difference. I'm Black, 98% of my blood relations are Black. A high percentage of my non blood relations and friends are Black. This is a repeating scenario, not an occasional blip. It has also reoccurred with the same people for different diagnosis.

    For example, the same Black woman who suffered with pain in her late 30s when she begged them to look at her gallbladder, but Dr said no because she didn't fit the demo (yes, it was her gallbladder) ended up pleading another Dr to remove her uterus (her 40s) & had to deal with continuous bleeding for over a year before he would do so. And of course, the uterus was the problem.

    I know tons of Black women who kinda accept that doctors don't listen to them.

    There isn't an alternative method to deal with some issues that are just bad genetics and/or heredity.
     
  16. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    Seriously? As Pat Condell says in the video below, the first one to bring up race is the racist. Now, if they point blank admitted they were treating her the way they did because of her race, that's different.

    And to use her as a case in point, I don't think the color of her skin was the problem. I think it was the attitude. There are more men in prison than women. Does that mean our prison system is sexist?

     
  17. HannahT

    HannahT Newbie Supporter

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    I think some doctors are just pure arrogant.

    I remember once going back to a doctor, because the medicine he gave me was making me ill. I went in because I was ill to begin with. I had never had that kind of reaction to medicine before. They wouldn't do anything over the phone, and wanted to see me again. The doctor proceeds to lecture me about how if I had finished the medicine would be fine now, and the fact I didn't finish it is why I was still ill. No, he didn't wish to acknowledge anything even when I told him the reason for my visit.

    I had a hospital ignore me when I informed them I have suffered from low blood pressure all my life. Both my parents had the same condition. Of course they didn't listen, and things went downhill fast. Once I was stabilized? I was told I should have been more FIRM in my informing them.

    (eye rolls) I mean are you kidding me?
     
  18. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    I think your complaints are more universal than you realize. I'm 64 and, coupled with my wife's first husband dying of leukema back in the 70's as well as all of my white friends that have seen hospital bed time, you'd be surprised how "universal" those complaints are for white people too.

    I am not really a big fan of the medical community, but I see all of this on a case by case basis. i.e. show me a driver acting belligerent and getting shot by cops in a youtube video and I don't care what his race is, you are not surprised to see him shot.

    Same with this. Make her white and I still understand how she was treated. i.e. I don't think race was the problem here.
     
  19. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    I've found that for surprisingly complicated stuff Google can be my doctor.
     
  20. Think like Christ

    Think like Christ New Member

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    According to your post, if I see systemic racism, and I say something about it, I'm the racist.

    What a great example of why there is still systemic racism in the USA. Thank you for making this post.
     
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