Jackson posted this on HuffPo today just before news broke of Thomas Eric Duncan’s death:
…But there are also questions of giving the drug only to those whose cases will bring media attention — like the two white missionaries. Use in such high-profile cases could increase the number of investors and the amount of government money for further research into the drug cocktail.
The use of ZMapp raises the question of privilege. Is it only those with better connections to positions of power who will get a fighting chance to receive this experimental drug?
When Thomas Eric Duncan first became sick and went to the hospital, he was treated with antibiotics and sent home.
Duncan did not receive screening tests for Ebola on this first visit. The question is, why did they not keep him in the hospital for further screening and treatment? Accounts differ, but apparently Duncan did tell the hospital staff that he had travelled from Africa. While the hospital staff reports he did not say he had come from Liberia, should not the combination of his symptoms and his travel from Africa raised further questions?
Duncan has a foreign accent, black skin, and no health insurance. From a theological perspective, Thomas Eric Duncan is one of our brothers described by Jesus as the “least of these.” What role did his lack of privilege play in the treatment he received? He is being treated as a criminal rather than as a patient. […]
As followers of Jesus, we are called to work for the day when those with privilege, most often white people, have greater access to better medical care than those whom Jesus calls “the least of our sisters and brothers.” As we treat our brothers and sisters, Jesus reminds us, we treat him. We are called to work for the day when everyone receives equal access to medical care. We need to save Thomas Eric Duncan.