Kindhearted Black Doctor Was Unjustly Harassed By The Airline Staff For Trying To Save A Sick Passenger's Life

November 8, 2018

How far should you go to determine that a health care provider is not some charlatan passing for a professional before you let them treat someone under your care? An unfortunate incident is causing people to ask questions and shines the light on America’s racism problem.

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Medical racism is not new

For years, science was used to support false claims about the biological differences in people of different races. These days, the practice is openly frowned upon, people are becoming more informed and acknowledge that race has nothing to do with biology and health.

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New forms of this prejudice, however, continues to exist. And worse, medical practitioners are reportedly not properly prepared to deal with people of other races during the cause of their training.

Black doctor harrassed for doing her job

But in Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford’s case, she wasn’t the one with the prejudice problem. She was on the receiving end of racial discrimination simply because the airline staff did not think she fits the mold of a qualified health care provider.

While on board of a Delta Airlines flight, the woman seated beside her began to hyperventilate. Fatima, who is both a Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School doctor and a teacher, intervened immediately.

But she was stopped by the airline staff who went on to grill her even after she presented sufficient identification. A flight attendant asked her,

Are you a head doctor? Are you actually an M.D.?

People are outraged

Fatima says she believes the actions of the airline were racially motivated and tweeted about her experience with the hashtag #Blackwomendoctors #weexist. Online, people are outraged and speaking out in support.

The airline responded with an apology, claiming they have a zero tolerance policy towards discrimination. They also acknowledged Dr. Fatima's concerns and extended an apology to her via email. Is this too little, too late?

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