Ethel Easter said that she was first worried about her doctor’s behavior because he was short with her when she was upset that her hernia surgery would not be scheduled until two months later.
“I was like, ‘I can’t wait for two months.’ I’m terribly ill, and he said ‘listen’ he got very abrupt. He said ‘who do you think you are? You have to wait just like everybody else’,” Easter said.
The tone he took with her prompted her to hide recording equipment in her weave and caught her surgeon talking about her to his staff.
“She’s a handful she had some choice words for us in the clinic when we didn’t book her case in two weeks,” the surgeon said.
Some of the others on the OR staff also made disparaging comments about her, such as, “Did you see her belly button?”
“Precious meet Precious,” a male voice says in the recording.
“It was Precious meet Precious, as though I was this big fat black woman,” Easter said.
Some of the staff members referred to her as “always the queen,” and the surgeon agreed, saying that he felt sorry for her husband.
“When I heard the comments on the tape and listened to them I was shocked,” said community activist Quanell X. “I had no idea that doctors, anesthesiologists and nurses would carry themselves in this manner in an operating room.”