October 1, 2022

In a video that recently surfaced at what appears to be a party a woman can be seen laughing and telling friends that she is about to get “Ghetto Nig__r Drunk.” In the video she repeats the phrase and also says “Put your phone down before I turn into a ghetto nigger.” And then she laughs as her recording friend laughs too. Another friend says “Amanda’s acting crazy y’all! She is ghetto!” And the party collectively laughs hysterically.

Outside of the obvious remarks which are very clearly racist and her use of a phrase that is nonsensically prescribed to a race of people – the real harm of this video is that the woman identified making these comments, Amanda L. Ellis is a medical care provider and Doctor of Nurse Practice in Mississippi- the Blackest state in America working in counties and cities that are sometimes 70-80% Black.

This means she has studied the ethical principles upon which nursing is based with 4 of them being:

1. Beneficence: Beneficence is the act of doing what is good and right for the patient. This ethical principle encompasses charity and kindness, which require actions by the nurse to benefit others.

2. Nonmaleficence: Nonmaleficence means doing no harm (intentional or unintentional). Nurses must provide care that reflects standards to avoid or minimize risk to the patient, healthcare team, or organization.

3. Justice: Justice is fairness and impartiality. Nurses must make impartial, fair decisions regarding patient

care without regard to a patient’s race, age, sexual orientation, or economic status.

4. Accountability: Accountability means accepting responsibility for one’s personal actions.

According to the findings of a recent national survey of nurses by the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing (the Commission), nearly half reported that there is widespread racism in nursing, demonstrating a substantial problem within the profession.

Some of our readers who have either been students of Ellis or patients of Ellis were shocked and infuriated by what they witnessed in the video with one reader stating “I saw her Tuesday! This is nuts!”

How can Black people/patients particularly trust the standard of care provided by a person who would say something like this? How can Black Nurses studying under Ellis’ tutelage at Mississippi College be confident that they are being treated fairly as students if she potentially perceives them this way? If her belief is to reduce our humanity how could we trust with confidence that she would provide the utmost care to ourselves or our loved ones?

Implicit bias is prevalent in healthcare and multiple studies have shown how racial disparity impacts Black people and particularly Black women.

In a recent update at least one of Ellis’ former employers, Ovation Wellness has issued a statement regarding the incident via social media.

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