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

  • Published on Aug 19, 2019
  • John Oliver discusses the roles that gender and racial bias can play in medical treatment.
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Comments • 18 583

  • ZYCalice
    ZYCalice 10 hours ago

    agree with the most, although for the pain level it might be just educating the doctors on how self reported pain level cannot always be trusted and should be adjusted - although the way the textbook made the generalization could be misleading

  • Timppa 3
    Timppa 3 21 hour ago +1

    Why are these medical claims obviously wrong? If one "race" has evolved to have paler skin in order to absorb more nutrients from sunlight, I would've assumed other things could have changed too.

  • Pinakamataas
    Pinakamataas Day ago

    There are anatomical differences between races. Like hair thickness (and color), eye color, lean muscle index, bone shape and many others, most importantly though - prevalence of several diseases, but none of them can allow racist attitude in any field, least of all creating this bias.

  • Yeet Man
    Yeet Man Day ago +1

    “I have a friend who loves complaining to doctors”
    *well that’s oddly specific*

  • Ruth Robinson
    Ruth Robinson 2 days ago

    Can I please just say that native Americans are not more likely to give wizard numbers. I am white as fuck and there is no way I’m ever going to use 6 or 8 when I could use 7. I actively and irrationally avoid non primes as much as possible and that has fuck all to do with my race

  • Tammy Malik
    Tammy Malik 2 days ago

    Tragically black woman died last week in MKE of heart attack because of this. White people are getting a taste of this if they have chronic pain, esp women. Pain is the new buzzword for "drug seeking" or "mental illness". I can only imagine how black ladies with chronic pain are being treated

  • Flame that Sings to the Wind

    HE IS A MAN?????!!!!!!????!!!!!!!????

  • Barbora Darmová
    Barbora Darmová 3 days ago

    Same in Europe. I am a female and an immigrant. Most often they either think I am imagining my symptoms or I just fake it to get a prescription for something. Most recently I was thought to be an insurance fraud because my card had expired and I didn't notice.

  • Klinkenstecker22
    Klinkenstecker22 3 days ago

    Well, here in germany the doctors are not that mean. They have to do their job, no matter if woman or man or whatever colour

  • Castiel Ware
    Castiel Ware 3 days ago

    I've been on birth control for two years, my doctor asked me about my period and one of the side effects I have is having a very long time between periods or none at all and I told her that I haven't had my period in two months and the first thing she asked was if I took a pregnancy test.... She didn't even bother to look at my chart to see that I had put on there that 1) I'm on birth control and 2) I'm fucking lesbian!

  • Monika
    Monika 5 days ago

    It's not only US issue... I gained 20kg in 6 months despite not changing anything in my life and when I told him that and the fact that I go to the gym 4-5 days a week, he just smirked and said "what's the point of lying to a doctor?" Basically just saying that the only reason that's possible for my weigth gain is laziness :) I just walked out and for next few years I just didn't go to any other doctor so I don't have to hear some bs like that again. Turned out I have Hashimoto, I have proper meds now (that I will have to take forever) and my weight went almost back to my regular one.

  • darkstar2874
    darkstar2874 5 days ago

    I’m aware how much work goes into these episodes but could we get a part two on medical bias against the LGBT community? Between the trans community and the MSM blood ban you’d have plenty of material

  • DemonLord518
    DemonLord518 5 days ago +1

    I had an experience about 4 or 5 years ago where my mom and I went to the doctors to see why I was lethargic, drossy, and why I gained 80 pounds during the previous year. The “doctor” didn’t bother looking at my bloodwork and instead blamed my obese mother for not watching what I eat. Several months to a year later I learned I had a thyroid condition and I was given a pill to take once a day for the rest of my life and lost over half of that weight and regained my energy.
    It’s been 6 or 7 years since then and although it started around the same time as the lethargy, I have daily, nonstop dizzy spells that have gotten worse over time. It’s kept me from working, learning how to drive, and being successful in school. I’ve had hundreds of tests done from dozens of doctors and have gotten no answer other than the tests coming back as “normal”.

  • Austin Cirillo
    Austin Cirillo 6 days ago

    Dam women & they're wandering wombs😁

  • Asexual Individual
    Asexual Individual 7 days ago

    It's also an issue for permanent birth control.
    If a woman chooses to get sterilised, for no medical reason, they have just decided that they don't want children and want to make sure they can't. They have to go through possibly years worth of hoops, dealing with constant referrals and being told to "wait for a bit to make sure that you're sure", being judged as "too young and immature to make that decision", told "You'll change your mind later", and so on.

  • Alpha Wolf
    Alpha Wolf 7 days ago

    14k thumbs down...that's the problem right there

  • Kaylor Jacobs
    Kaylor Jacobs 7 days ago

    When I was 8 years old I was having severe abdominal pain, a fever, and I had vomitted (only once) for about a day. My mom worked in a hospital for many years at the front desk, so she had no medical degree but she picked up a lot of information over the years. She took me in at 2 am because I was just getting worse (she had to carry me in because I was in too much pain to walk). She told the male doctor my symptoms and what she thought was happening..... Appendicitis. He refused to take any blood tests on me or whatever they do to test my appendix, and told her she was just an over protective mother and all I had was the flu so she was to just take me home. My was furious and stood up for me. He finally agreed to do some tests. When they came back he was really concerned because they didn't look good. Yep, I had appendicitis. Surgeon said that it had been leaking and I was only a few hours away from it rupturing. I can only imagine what would have happened if my mom had just listened to the doctor

  • ocean shaw
    ocean shaw 9 days ago

    hang on doctors should study women bodys because all boys are girl until they get there y cromazon

  • Redacted
    Redacted 10 days ago +1

    The same thing happens with age. Doctors assume that old people complain about every little thing and assume that people with dementia don't know what they are saying.

  • Robert Texidor
    Robert Texidor 11 days ago +1

    I bring my husband with me to the hospital or any doctor visit just because I’m sick of being treated like a lesser human.

  • BeachGnome
    BeachGnome 12 days ago

    Having mental illness often means having all of your physical symptoms brushed off as being nothing.

  • Ondřej Zástěra
    Ondřej Zástěra 12 days ago

    with Spectacles McDorky

  • GregTom2
    GregTom2 13 days ago +1

    Most new medical practitioners are women, most of the money spent on pharmaceuticals is for women, and women really do have a higher rate of pain conditions like fibromyalgia for which prescribing opiates is indeed a terrible idea. And women have a life expectancy advantage of 3 years.
    But do feel free to claim that you're being oppressed because of pharmacokinetics studies in the 90ies and because your heart attacks are twice as rare, less obvious and less deadly then men's.

    • Matt Gonzalez
      Matt Gonzalez Day ago

      Finally, a commenter who doesn't have his head up his ass! Thank you, you are a breath of fresh air

  • Frank Parra
    Frank Parra 14 days ago

    That atnt gag gets me everytime

  • Happiercat 477
    Happiercat 477 14 days ago

    Blacks and whites do have differences,my guy. I.E. sickle cell, heart medications, etc.

  • Sarah Seriah
    Sarah Seriah 15 days ago

    When I broke my foot (the break went completely through the bone and was accompanied by a severe sprain) I was in immense pain 24/7. I was never offered pain medicine by my doctor, who was a white man. When I had to have an "emergency" appointment to have my cast removed and a new one made because it was constricting bloodflow, the doctor who was seeing me (a woman of color) asked me what pain medicine I had been given, and when I told her I hadn't been prescribed any, she asked if I needed it and proceeded to write me two different prescriptions when I said yes. Up until then, I was only sleeping about thirty minutes at a time, waking up again from the pain, and eventually falling asleep again out of exhaustion to then repeat the cycle thirty minutes later. After being given pain medicine I was able to sleep through the night for the first time since I had broken my foot. I can't even imagine what it's like for people with illnesses or injuries that cause chronic pain. I hope we fix our healthcare system so that people aren't forced to suffer because their doctor doesn't believe then.

  • Shadow Gamer
    Shadow Gamer 15 days ago

    Wait why the fuck does it say Hispanics believe such and such as if it's a religion? I mean I know I'm expecting too much from racists, but come one.

  • Shadow Gamer
    Shadow Gamer 15 days ago

    Fun fact: race has literally no basis in biological reality, and there are no genes found in members of one group we might call race that cannot be found in a different one

    • Shadow Gamer
      Shadow Gamer 12 days ago

      @GregTom2 I mean even using "race" as a medical term is not really productive unless you are talking about the social ramifications of perceived race in specific societies.
      It's much better to use things like area of origin because certain populations have certain issues because of the area they developed in. For example people around the Mediterranean have issues with sicle cell anemia because of a specific gene that protects from malaria but causes said anemia, and that's regardless of skin colour.

    • GregTom2
      GregTom2 12 days ago

      @Shadow Gamer
      Damnit. I looked it up and you're right. I misremembered something. While you do give hydralazine+nitrates to patients who cannot receive ACE inhibitors, in african american patients you would give all three (four, including the BB).

      Ref: 2013 ACCF/AHA Guideline for the Management
      of Heart Failure

      I'll take down my earlier comment.

    • Shadow Gamer
      Shadow Gamer 13 days ago

      @GregTom2 What exactly are you reffering to? There isnt really a different heart medication for African Americans on the market. While a specific drug was marketed in 2005 explicitly towards African Americans, it's not like generic heart failure medication isn't effective, and it's absolutely not harmful. Not to mention that the way that said drug was tested and whether it's actually necessary or effective is hotly debated, with most scientists agreeing it was a marketing scam
      Any disparities between African Americans and white people in deaths by heart disease are due to social disparities, differences in diet, disparities of wealth, access to health care, and as this video covers, bias in medicine
      And again, race is not a biological reality. There is more variability between two members of the same "race" than between two members of different "races". This has been clearly established since the 70s. There is no gene that can be found in one specific "race" that can't be found in another.
      Don't spread misinformation please

  • JaySilverhood
    JaySilverhood 16 days ago

    Idk why I keep watching this episode because of how he said The Babadook

  • Niel van Steenderen
    Niel van Steenderen 16 days ago

    I disagree with the reframing of the number of planes falling out of the sky was silly. 2 planes fell out of the sky and there is an international outcry, the air is investagted, fines handed out, etc. 83000 is a hard number to visualise but it also points to the disproportionate news coverage and subsequent action in comparison to the 2 ways to die.

  • Matouš Pikous
    Matouš Pikous 17 days ago

    Test: Do black people have more colagen in their skin?
    Mr. Oliver: Holly shit, you don’t expexct to hear that in medical school.

  • BladesWillxBleed
    BladesWillxBleed 17 days ago +1

    There are biological differences in the races such as bone density. That's actually taken into account in Marine Corps boot camp during the swimming part and helps a lot of black people pass basic training. Before that was considered there was an abnormally High dropout rate during that part of training. Also let's not forget drug tests, which can affect people of color worse do to the different structure of the hair. We see this in Athletics with different muscle structures. Biologically we are animals and animals that develop and evolve in different Geographic environments evolve different biological Anatomy. I'm sure John's about to say it himself cuz I only made it halfway through the video (10:15-10:25) before stopping to add this but I know I'm about to see some cherry picking, already am.

  • Bianca Ilie
    Bianca Ilie 18 days ago

    "You're too white to talk about that" you know thats racism too. Who cares about that? Its great that you speak up against all this injustice, you educate people, who cares if your black or white

  • Picking With Dick
    Picking With Dick 18 days ago +1

    Yes Mister programmer. Let us all know our white quilt. Thank you funny man. My program is 1.09 now!


  • luvmibratt
    luvmibratt 18 days ago

    So true ..2 wisdom teeth removed at once got sent home with I B FUCKIN PROPHIN smmfh 😠😠😠

  • John Walker
    John Walker 21 day ago

    That's bullshit,I couldn't get any GD pain pills!

  • Isaiah Clayton
    Isaiah Clayton 21 day ago

    NOOOOO, not an MJ joke.Cmon lol

  • Tiesa Ortega
    Tiesa Ortega 26 days ago

    I had a black woman doctor call a drug specialist on me because the Morphine they gave me wasn’t working after giving birth back to back thinking that I was a drug attic come to find out I was allergic to morphine and The Specialists Who she sent into interview me to see if I liked drugs I guess
    I had to cuss him out and the hole Situation turned me off and I never went back to that OB/GYN after giving birth.

  • Lizard
    Lizard 27 days ago

    Actually I'm ok with bringing back calling periods "the curse" seems more accurate since unlike an actual period which is small and signals the end of a complete sentence or thought while periods never seem to end unless you're pregnant or hit menopause, I literally had someone ask me why I had ANOTHER period a month later as if I only get it once a year.

  • Jessie Hudgens
    Jessie Hudgens 28 days ago

    I'm mixed and I bring my white mom in with me bcuz I know it will take her 3 seconds to go full Karen if I need her to lmao

  • elina halla
    elina halla 28 days ago

    Thank god I live in Finland. When I'm sick (or my Family) I don't need to fear about the costs or get additional insurences (actually we don't even need them) to get taken cared of. It must be horrible to know that if something happens the result can be homelessnes or bankruptcy or even death because you can't afford the treatments or medication. Our system is not perfect but if you compare it to US system, it is hands down better than america has.

  • Ainchase Ishmael
    Ainchase Ishmael 29 days ago +1

    I need a 10 minute loop of john oliver saying the babadook

  • l1xx3r
    l1xx3r 29 days ago

    I don't like trump, but I don't like dems either... but this guys bias makes me slightly less likely to watch him. All politicians are morons... Not just one of them.

  • WolfGirl938
    WolfGirl938 29 days ago

    I'm using evidence from this video to right a research paper on biases in medical care. I'm so happy I found a subject to write about where I can use a John Oliver episode as evidence

  • Robert Thompson
    Robert Thompson Month ago

    Good news. Trump is going to win again. Four more years! Trump 2020

  • Matouš Kolátor
    Matouš Kolátor Month ago

    Being from Europe I thought this is to ridiculous to be true when I watched this. And then I read the comments...

  • AceFailure
    AceFailure Month ago

    I have a brother and a sister, guess which one is more a bitch about pain and being sick?? My brother, he's 6 years older than her. When it comes to abdominal pains, afab are like a tank. If a lady is asking for pain meds, you know it most fucking hurt.

  • Zhor'i Ambassador
    Zhor'i Ambassador Month ago

    Yet more men die from Heart Attacks than women do even with such faults in medicine. Not really hammering in the urgency when there are no numbers to stress it. Yes if more women are inflicted or impacted than men, it does STRESS urgency. When it is the opposite, you still have more men impacted than women. Sorry, but it ain't much of a urgency when most women are not impacted. You would be dealing with a minority of women and this may actually be a concern if it was a majority of say women with color, but if it isn't then not even women with color will care about it, because it doesn't concern them when the majority of their own population isn't impacted by it. Oh I agree it is an issue, but bringing it up is going to draw attention except from people who can profit off it in some form or manner.

    • Zhor'i Ambassador
      Zhor'i Ambassador 15 days ago

      @GHOSTbirdnatureLOVER Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, killing 347,879 men in 2017-that's about 1 in every 4 male deaths. Meanwhile, only 299,578 women in 2017-or about 1 in every 5 female deaths. Sorry, misandrous individual, but men do die more frequently from heart disease. I suppose you also think more women die from coal mining accidents as well, hmm?

    • GHOSTbirdnatureLOVER
      GHOSTbirdnatureLOVER 15 days ago

      false. women die more from heart attacks.

  • Ken Fiscus
    Ken Fiscus Month ago


  • Cecilia Arvidsson
    Cecilia Arvidsson Month ago

    I’ve worked as a nurse for 9 years now and can honestly say that the only difference between a white person and a person of colour is that their veins are trickier to see. Which is something that WE need to get better at, because bloodtests are so basic one should be able to get them done basically blindfolded.

  • 5%LowBattery
    5%LowBattery Month ago

    White Physician Assistant’s text messages about how they feel about Black Women/Black people leaks |
    A lot of people actually believe they aren’t racist because they believe racism is going out and causing harm or something on that level. They don’t know that there are different types of racism, and their racism manifests itself in the workplace through many forms of discrimination. They believe they actually to do something physical to be racist.
    Black people, especially black women die at a very high rate of untreated and misdiagnosed illnesses, and pregnancies. Racism and negligence play a huge part.
    After the release of this video, a lot of black women revealed this is one of the reasons they prefer going to Black doctors, are scared of white doctors. This doctor’s entire friend group, who are also doctors, behave the same way he does, and it would’ve been kept in the dark if the anonymous source hadn’t come forward.

  • aLERNO
    aLERNO Month ago

    LARRY DAVID ISN'T WHITE, or Indo-European if you will (races don't exist, there are only relative and diffuse genetic mutation concentrations), he is Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Jewish.

  • cmilla111
    cmilla111 Month ago

    Lol I bet if you asked some white doctors they'd tell you black people have super powers. They can do everything but be smarter than us, run the country or apparently, dodge bullets.

  • Astro Wolvez
    Astro Wolvez Month ago

    It's pretty fucked how people watched this and still say this doesn't happen.

  • Javier Ivona
    Javier Ivona Month ago

    he's taking a couple things out of context in a way that suggests errors in medical care are due to gender bias, when in reality that explanation is untenable. He mentions the fact that women can experience a heart attack in a way that's different from what's generally expected by the general population as some shocking revelation (which it may well be for a number of viewers), but the truth is we doctors know this. Diabetics, both male and female and elderly people can all experience a heart attack without actually feeling any chest pain. The reason women who have heart attacks are misdiagnosed seven times as often as men in some locations is probably related to the fact that heart attacks just happen less often with women (up until menopause) than with men. Given the fact that most doctors take epidemiology into account when thinking of differential diagnosis (which is a good thing to do), a woman of reproductive age who presents with a particular set of symptoms could have a different chance of having certain conditions than a man who's the same age. That's just my personal opinion, my point being it'd be unfair to explain medical errors as the result of gender bias in most cases.

  • Doombringer
    Doombringer Month ago

    Why do they let morons like these even become doctors, what’s next, letting someone who believes in blood letting practice medicine

  • kloklo 03
    kloklo 03 Month ago

    I'm a woman living in the UK and thankfully my experience with doctors has been pretty good (though I am white). I've been getting regular treatment for my congenital heart disease, I had a accident where my hand got pretty messed up, and I've recently started to receive therapy, and I can't think of any major issues (except for some uncalled for comments). However, I still get mad when I remember that my friend (also a white girl) who has been suffering from severe mental health issues for years and has gone to her GP several times still hasn't got any help. In fact, on one visit the male doctor said that her depression symptoms were probably just because of her period, which doesn't make any sense because it's not like she's been having her period for literal years? If she was I'm sure she'd bring that up. It's just so frustrating to know she's continuing to suffer for no reason

  • X YZ-T
    X YZ-T Month ago

    Or the fact that women goes to the doctor far more often than men... but lets not mention that.

  • Spegnag Maglorious
    Spegnag Maglorious Month ago +1

    He said "lupus" and because I'm learning latin, I heard "wolf disease"

  • The Architect FX
    The Architect FX Month ago

    Given the treatment black ppl have endured globally over the past half a millennia it’s pretty reasonable that we‘ve arrived at the sentiment that suffering and pain are inevitable. It’s a survival mechanism that a lot of our cultures have developed to coup with and even overcome grief and depression. I can’t speak for all black ppl but I think 11:20 is pretty accurate for my family.