Bias In Medicine: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

  • Published: 19 August 2019
  • John Oliver discusses the roles that gender and racial bias can play in medical treatment.

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Comments • 18 146

  • Gary Kelley
    Gary Kelley  6 hours back

    There's bias everywhere, sad it's in that profession as well. Even women can have bias against other women. When I was married my mother in law wouldn't listen to something my wife would say, I would repeat it almost exactly verbatim, and then she'd be like, "Oh..I see." In the medical field though way more serious, it makes me sad we're so backward.

    • 00Geeky00 00Goggles00
      00Geeky00 00Goggles00  6 hours back

      16:30 Ohhhhh it's moments like this that make me remember that John is a father. Did anyone else see him tearing up? That hurts...

      • Melania Trump
        Melania Trump  9 hours back

        The reason for this bias is not patriarchy. Health pros are swimming in endless stream of hypochondriac females who go see them simply because they "like feel little icky" and they thereby learn to ignore women's health complaints. Men on the other hand generally do not visit doctors needlessly. Men ignore chronic pain for months thinking "its nothing serious", so when a man finally goes see a doctor, he most likely has a diagnosable condition.

        • HanadaMarie
          HanadaMarie  10 hours back

          This is too real. I hate going to the ER. Been for anaphylaxis and asthma attacks, which are diagnosed by doctors and I have prescribed medications for, and they told me I might have anxiety. They literally told me my throat closed up after eating something I was allergic to because I was having a panic attack. They still gave me steroids. A bit later I was having problems with asthma and I didn't respond well to my rescue inhaler (my heart would race and I would get jittery when regularly taking it), so my doctor told me on a Saturday to go in and get steroids. The ER doc said I was having a panic attack and that it wasn't asthma, they didn't give me steroids. I went into the doctor on Monday to them being furious at the said ER and I had to go through a whole treatment thing. They had to push my insurance to get me the more expensive inhaler that wouldn't make my heart race.
          To be honest, it fucked with my head so bad sometimes I still don't think I have asthma and wonder if I made up the allergies.

          • Aiwass L
            Aiwass L  10 hours back

            it is better to compare the statistics of deaths of black people with the statistics of deaths in Africa and not in countries of the 1st world. just saying. they are black after all.

            • Aiwass L
              Aiwass L  10 hours back

              retarded comedian. don't mess with medicine you got all wrong. dumb ass.

              • Andy T
                Andy T  18 hours back

                Advocate for yourself is the best advice ever. Doctors already THINK they know everything. If you don't understand what they are saying, MAKE them explain.

                • Flo morteforet
                  Flo morteforet  1 days back

                  what about the bias in lastweektonight? my actual wife cries out lout laying on the floor for every minor injuries, she cries when she see a spider

                  • Elaine Nguyen
                    Elaine Nguyen  1 days back

                    the little bits at the end (ex. the one with larry here) are always so heavily referential that i wonder if the actors know what they're talking about when they record them lol. like does the production team give them a full segment script or something to read for context or...

                    • Basil Odira
                      Basil Odira  2 days back

                      Maybe Women are better off going to women Dr's just like Us black folks are more comfortable with black doctors. Problem is white men dominate

                      • Knowledgeandbeauty
                        Knowledgeandbeauty  2 days back

                        Why is this episode not posted on Facebook?

                        • Brittany Lawless
                          Brittany Lawless  3 days back

                          Also fat people deal with a whole lot of bias in medical treatment.

                          • 5Days
                            5Days  12 hours back

                            Brittany Lawless lose weight big brit

                        • Diana Eidson
                          Diana Eidson  3 days back

                          Fewer opioid prescriptions is actually beneficial, based on the likelihood of addiction and the clear over-prescription of these deadly meds.

                          • Diana Eidson
                            Diana Eidson  3 days back

                            I get that there’s sex, gender, and racial bias. Intertwined with each is bias based on socioeconomic status. What say you about this? We have to have money and good insurance to receive proper care. That is obscene.

                            • 2nd classCitizen
                              2nd classCitizen  3 days back

                              Can't wait for the day when the World sees doctors for the innept peices of money hungry shit that most but not all of them are.

                              • Raezores
                                Raezores  3 days back

                                At this point I just realized that God doesn't exist just because the way we act to each other.

                                Or he does he's just old man in bed at his last days you guys know what that means the niceness is gone.

                                • Phoebe Denton
                                  Phoebe Denton  3 days back

                                  I once went to the ER with cellulitis that was spreading rapidly, by the time I managed to get there, my entire right arm was affected. The doctor told me to go home and come back if I saw streaking down my arm. I said to him "but doesn't streaking mean I'd have blood poisoning?" and he said "yes, but we don't have any spare beds". Didn't even give me any antibiotics. As I walked out I saw a man with what looked like a sprained ankle (they were giving him a stretchy bandage, so not broken) being offered a bed. I went home, got blood poisoning, and almost died.

                                  • Aa Ba
                                    Aa Ba  3 days back

                                    Awful propaganda

                                    • Donna Campbell
                                      Donna Campbell  3 days back

                                      Pesky hormones? Testosterone makes most men unstable (it causes all kinds of violence, it causes them to take all kinds of risks)) but women have the pesky hormones. Yeah right.

                                      • Donna Campbell
                                        Donna Campbell  6 hours back

                                        @5Days They will never be more than equal.

                                      • 5Days
                                        5Days  12 hours back

                                        Donna Campbell men>women you literally can't prove me wrong

                                    • Kevin Savage
                                      Kevin Savage  3 days back

                                      Ummm. It's not about menstrual cycles. It's about the fear of teratogenic mutations.

                                      • spookydonkey513
                                        spookydonkey513  3 days back

                                        Unfortunately a lot of systemic issues addressed on this show are near impossible to do anything about because at least 40% of Americans don’t give a fuck about you if you are female, a poc, gay or basically anything not white, male and straight (preferably wealthy too).

                                        • {Yasenia}
                                          {Yasenia}  3 days back

                                          If you think that being a woman or black makes you least likely to get good medical help, which it does, just imagine being transgender. Or even worst, being intersex. As an intersex people I can tell you that when I tell doctors that ai am intersex and what possible congenital conditions I might had been born with (I said what possible because most intersex people are misdiagnosed more than once before they get a correct diagnose), I can see smoke coming out of their ears as their little brains overload. The ones that really get to me are the ones that try to act like their know what intersex really means (no it is not a new word for "hermaphrodite" - funny!) or understand the conditions and the many variations of them. Yet I can tell that 99% of doctors do not know their butthole from a hole on the ground when it comes to intersex conditions.

                                          My advice to people in general. When you go to see a doctor, arm yourself with the one thing they hate the most for their patients to have. That is knowledge. Learn all you can about your conditions and signs and symptoms. Don't take the word of a doctor as if it was the word of God himself. Of something does not make sense say so. But do not because a disrespectful pain in the ass. But an educated pain in the ass. Either way doctors hate that. They hate when you question them with facts and medical knowledge. You'd be surprise how they change the tune of their sings when they see you know are medically educated.

                                          • Jeffery C
                                            Jeffery C  4 days back

                                            We are soooo dumb... Ffs.

                                            • Amy Leifeste
                                              Amy Leifeste  4 days back

                                              I am a 25 year old white woman who looks barely 18. I’ve been in knee pain for three months now while seeing an orthopedic specialist who has continually minimized my complaints of pain and that his treatments aren’t working and the pain is getting worse. I had to ASK him for an MRI after two cortisone shots caused excruciating pain and didn’t reduce the pain. I’ve also had issues getting him to sign off on my disability claims even as I’m LIMPING into his office. I left his office today weeping because he made me feel so small and like he didn’t believe me. It the most frustrating thing.

                                              • Vile Crocodile
                                                Vile Crocodile  4 days back

                                                If this a joke? White males are dropping like flies.

                                                • cicalinarrot
                                                  cicalinarrot  4 days back

                                                  At 7:21 John telling the runner to "Go home now" as if he was on first base is just as british as it gets.

                                                  • kucfogflesrouy hctib
                                                    kucfogflesrouy hctib  4 days back

                                                    DO MORE RESEARCH. DON'T WATCH For THE LEFTISTS LIES

                                                    • kucfogflesrouy hctib
                                                      kucfogflesrouy hctib  4 days back

                                                      @Ayla Aron ABORTION, GUNS, WATCH THOSE THAN GO TO THE, CDC....U LAZY FUCK, IS THIS WHERE U NEWS?

                                                    • Ayla Aron
                                                      Ayla Aron  4 days back

                                                      Present your counter arguments.

                                                  • Nicole
                                                    Nicole  4 days back

                                                    If anyone wants to learn more about the problem of racism and sexism in medicine, I recommend reading the book by Maya Dusenbery called, "Doing Harm, The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick." It looks like this is where John Oliver got much of the information. Another book on the topic of racism and sexism in medicine is called, "The Hidden Malpractice, How American Medicine Mistreats Women," by Gena Corea. This book dates back to the 1970s and the Women's Health Movement. The book explains how medical practice, itself, has been influenced and directed by the white male patriarchal beliefs since the doctors were first required to be accredited, and became "professionals" in the 1830s. The book is full of horror stories about women being mistreated by the healthcare system. It also discusses how black women have been treated particularly badly. The book mentions how white women were denied the right to be sterilized, even up to the 1970s. In contrast to black women, were sterilized against their will even up to the1970s. The book recounts a horror story of a black woman who in 1972, went to a hospital for an abortion. The doctors told her they would next do "a tubal ligation," figuring her to be too stupid to know this meant "tying her tubes." The book quotes her, saying, "I'm just glad I know- I mean, what if I had not heard the words before? They were slipping it right by. And I said, "Do you think I'm an idiot? My blood pressure just shot up And I said "No." I would have done anything to get out of there. They said, "You're in now. I got kind of scared. I worked at the university. I had never been on welfare." Discussion about these problems are finally happening. Still, it's hard to find material on the subject. Another book I recommend is "All in My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache," by Paula Kamen. Last, but not least, the old TV show, "The Golden Girls," did a two part episode on this subject, called, "Sick and Tired." The writers and actors in this show handled this subject excellently. Parts of that episode are here on Youtubes. Also, Samantha Bee did a piece on Full Frontal about this topic and how it relates to a disease called "endometriosis." That episode is called, "The History of Women's Pain," and it's here on Youtube.

                                                    • Sun and D-970
                                                      Sun and D-970  5 days back

                                                      Some Doctors are just a piece of work.

                                                      • Ale Titan
                                                        Ale Titan  5 days back

                                                        3:25 there's some news stories of women dying because Dr.'s thought they were "faking it" and didn't get the help they needed

                                                        • Rebecca Sikes
                                                          Rebecca Sikes  5 days back

                                                          He should also talk about mental status. I take medication for depression and anxiety so every time i go to the doctor, no matter what symptoms I say i have, they always try to pin it on my meds or my mental health. I went to the doctor a few months ago because of urgency and pain when urinating and they sent me home because "it's probably stress." ????? A few days later, I was peeing blood and my kidney was infected. FINALLY they let me have antibiotics. For a few years, my throat will randomly close up at night and I'll have shooting pains in my chest. The first time it happened I went to the emergency room and they said it was a panic attack. I told them it wasn't, I've had panic attacks that's not how they feel to me. Also, ummm, I wasn't panicking it just hurt. Every time I try to see a doctor about it they ALWAYS and without fail brush it off as something to do with my mental health. No doctor ever takes my complaints seriously.

                                                          • Parker Hope
                                                            Parker Hope  5 days back

                                                            Watch doctor mikes response video to this

                                                            • Red Holley
                                                              Red Holley  5 days back

                                                              This reminds me when I was in the ER because I thought I tore something in my abdomen from untreated bulimia b/p cycles and he told me to try using a toothbrush (rather than my fingers because he did in fact ask) next time. A medical professional just told a bulimic 17yo (at the time) girl how to vomit better...
                                                              Btw it was my gallbladder, even me describing the pain type and location he didn’t think to do an ultrasound.

                                                              • KomaKinoX z
                                                                KomaKinoX z  5 days back

                                                                We need to add a double thumbs up option on videos

                                                                • Beloved Woman
                                                                  Beloved Woman  5 days back

                                                                  "I got Larry to record the white person's 7 word mating call - I'd like to speak to your supervisor." ROTFLMAO 🤣😂🤣🤣😂🤣

                                                                  • Medical Legal
                                                                    Medical Legal  5 days back

                                                                    I once chatted with a doctor from the US. Im a medical student, and the way he talked, the sense of entitlement and arrogance put me off. The idea of being a humble doctor was inconceivable to him, the idea that doctor can be limited in his efforts to treat a patient was not entertained. To him, he was god to the patient, and when i asked him what happens if he loses a patient, he dismissed me by saying that will never happen because he is that good. How can you be a healthcare professional if you dont realize how fragile a human life can be?

                                                                    • Lowland Raised
                                                                      Lowland Raised  5 days back

                                                                      Honestly my Dr hates us all equally. I came in having a massive asthma attack and he prescribed me a steroid pack and sent me out the door while still having the asthma attack. Luckily and quite ironically his office is attached to the hospital which I walked to and got admitted for 5 days before they, again ironically, asked why my dr did not admit me to the hospital to begin with given he is the Chief of Medicine at the hospital.

                                                                      • Steve Bulbow MD
                                                                        Steve Bulbow MD  6 days back

                                                                        Where the fück did these supposed "doctors" study "medicine"? In the back alley?

                                                                        • Jamie Howington
                                                                          Jamie Howington  6 days back

                                                                          That comment about Black people having a thick skin, is what they believed during slavery.

                                                                          • YummyCarrot
                                                                            YummyCarrot  3 days back

                                                                            But there are differences in biology between the average white and black male. I suggest you go and take the test yourself. It's quite difficult. John Oliver is making a moot point there. Blacks not having thicker skin isn't such an obvious question. How are you so sure they don't? Plus the actual question talked about collagen content in the skin. One of the question asks about black people having denser bones than white people. And that fact is true. So is that also so obvious?

                                                                        • Landcervelatwurst
                                                                          Landcervelatwurst  6 days back

                                                                          Every time i hear about education in america, even for doctors it seems, i am so happy to be european. I can't imagine having a medical professional not taking me seriously, if that happened to me, i would just leave and go to the next.

                                                                          • Montesama314
                                                                            Montesama314  6 days back

                                                                            Hey, ever wondered why the opioid epidemic seems to largely affect whites more than anyone else? Hmm...

                                                                            • momo penguins
                                                                              momo penguins  6 days back

                                                                              1) no I didnt 2) wait thats a good point 3) does it really (oof), I would research this but I assume you know a bit about it so you can explain and all I would have to do is fact check

                                                                          • Justin Mochi
                                                                            Justin Mochi  6 days back

                                                                            So the people who spend decades getting degrees at these liberal, socially progressive colleges like Harvard are racist/sexist? Ok I didn't like them anyway.

                                                                            • Felix Loewenich
                                                                              Felix Loewenich  6 days back

                                                                              Too white to talk about it? That's such a stupid idea

                                                                              • Karl Renner
                                                                                Karl Renner  6 days back

                                                                                Donald Trump is the Billy Graham of bigots.

                                                                                • Hugh Manetti
                                                                                  Hugh Manetti  6 days back

                                                                                  God knows I love John Oliver.

                                                                                  • Madeleine Waters Media

                                                                                    Amazing piece and I love Wanda so much. I’m surprised he didn’t mention Serena Williams blood clot story tho- that was some insane racial/ sexist bias

                                                                                    • XzTS
                                                                                      XzTS  7 days back


                                                                                      • Zain Hakeem
                                                                                        Zain Hakeem  7 days back

                                                                                        Unfortunately, this is a fantastically naive consideration of this issue. It completely ignores the issues of Bayesian diagnostics, harms of over diagnosis, and the opiate epidemic. I love your show, Mr. Oliver, but I'd ask you to follow me on hospital rounds for a few days to learn the truth behind the so called medical "bias". This episode completely misses the actual issues and challenges.