May 12, 2020

Doctors Refused to See Pregnant Woman Because of COVID-19 Pandemic. She Died Shortly After Giving Birth.

Screenshot from Amber Isaac's Twitter account
First-time mother Amber Isaac died early on the morning of April 21 at Montefiore Medical Center after giving birth to her son during an emergency C-section. New York doctors refused to see her for a month even though her partner attests that her condition was worsening since February.

“She had mentioned to me that she feels like she’s not gonna make it,” McIntyre told The City. “And I would try my best to cheer her up. She would tell her mom she’s really glad the baby is healthy, but she’s scared that she’s not gonna make it.”

After her family insisted that doctors see her, she was allowed to have a checkup in April, when doctors diagnosed her with HELLP syndrome. The condition is deadly if left untreated, so doctors at Montefiore Medical Center performed a C-section to end Isaac's pregnancy (note that this process is significantly faster than an abortion) and begin treatment. Sadly, the mother died after the C-section and was never able to see her child.

“As soon as they took the baby out, her heart stopped,” McIntyre said.

Isaac tweeted four days before her death that she would write a "tell-all" about her experience with Montefiore Medical Center after everything was over. 

The hospital's refusal to see her before the last minute is a deadly display of the effect healthcare rationing can have, especially on disadvantaged and minority populations with few options.