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

Pubblicato il 19 ago 2019
John Oliver discusses the roles that gender and racial bias can play in medical treatment.
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  • That last line was superb and hopefully super effective! Hopefully it works the next time I consult alone with a doctor. Also, I've kept in mind to ask someone to accommodate me whenever I consult so that I'd have a witness.

  • Never realized how many others were going through this. Haven’t been to the doctor in 5 years because when I last went to renew a prescription for medicine the entire nurse and doctor staff had a conversation within my earshot of how I was probably just trying to sell them and then he came in and refused me told me to try another doctor.

  • Medical Fact Checking John Oliver

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  • Oh....they had Leo...almost cried there

  • I'm a psychiatrist, but holy shit that ER doc who sent the woman home is total garbage. Everyone who's gone to medical school should know the atypical MI symptoms in woman, especially a fucking ER doctor. That's literally the job of an ER doctor.

  • From both the video and the comment section it has been made clear to me that I don't want to experience American healthcare if I fit into one of the following categories: >Person of colour >Female person >Young person >Old person Which brings me to ask: who isn't screwed over by the healthcare system over there?

  • Of course the episode talking about sexism has more downvotes than usual.

  • i'm from the uk and this is almost exactly my experience, my tumour went undiagnosed for 4 years, i was in agony, i was weak, throwing up and even suicidal at one point and all i got from my doctor was stop moaning, take some painkillers, i only got tested and treated when i moved back to home and was made to see a new doctor i'm now a paraplegic, all because my doctor thought he could diagnose cancer with x-ray vision :( doctors do a great job but some are so far up their own arses they don't take their patients seriously, we know our own bodies and we know when something isn't right

  • Are ALL doctors from Maryland? Dr Wilson, MD. Heheheheh!

  • Am I the only one who noticed that when the black woman reported her experiences explaining her pain to doctors, and being told she was making it up, the white woman interviewing her again questioned her incredulously!? Yes, beeotch, she just told you, and if you did your homework you'd know there's a pattern of doctors minimizing the reported pain of black women. I'm a white woman and I know this. Please don't question this woman's recounting of her own lived experiences.

  • Trans Broken Arm Syndrome is definitely real. You go in cause you have a relatively normal illness or injury, and people get so hung up because "Oh shit it's a transgender what do we do with it?" that they totally ignore your actual issue and just focus on "Okay but what are these hormones you are on? Have you had ThE sUrGeRy? Do you mind if some of these unrelated staff members come in to have a peek at you and invade your privacy to sate their curiosity? Oh, yeah so we told everyone on staff on this floor about your transgenderism." It sounds like exaggeration, and thankfully not all medical providers do this kind of stuff, but it's way too common and still a serious issue.

  • Scientists get bias training, I would think doctors would get it. They bloody well should, also I found that oddly getting treated by diverse doctors hasnt really helped me (females have actually been somewhat less helpful oddly). My current Doctor from India who immigrated to Australia has been the best- he listens to me and my symptoms and takes me seriously.

  • I'm not gonna doubt some people are racial in their choices, but I would say it's a class problem. Guarantee a rich and known black person gets tip top treatment just the same as a rich and known white person. Because I'm pretty white and have sat in an ER for 2 hours in pain from a kidney stone because they gave me something that clearly didn't work. And then FINALLY after 2 hours, "well it looks like you DO have a kidney stone" "you think?".... When I had been in there multiple times for kidney stones, yet they looked at me like I was a junkie just looking to score some drugs, and that wasn't the case. Hospitals in general are some of the most judgmental places, ESPECIALLY if you don't have insurance. Nurses and doctors alike all the time knock on people coming in for anything less than you're literally bleeding out, they see everything as a waste of their time. Which really needs to change, I can't stand people like that, cause they sure ain't helping, or wanting to rather...Probably just their to collect a check just like the doctor$$$.

  • The Yom Kippur joke killed me.

  • He sounds more like a duck than a baby

  • I know he keeps saying he’s too white to discuss this. But I personally know white men who wouldn’t listen to this seriously if it were communicated by a person of colour or a woman. So I don’t think it’s all bad that it’s coming from him, might make another part of the population listen a little better

  • I had such a crush on Wanda when I was a teen, and watching this video brought all of those feelings back! Not that she'd be interested in a dude; I know that ain't happening! I just think she's wonderful :)

  • this is bullshit im a white male and i don't get shit for help when i see a doctor either. its not racism its just shitty fucking doctors you fuckwad.

  • Funny how John Oliver puts shit on doctors about using medications then bows to the holy grail of one of the biggest crimes against humanity- va$$ines- make up you mind John.

  • So now the sexes are different? I am confused

  • Thank God I live in Germany.... It's like the US lives a century behind the rest of the world considering medicine....

    • False. The US has among the best survival rates in the world, especially for cancer. Are you deluded into thinking male supremacy doesn’t influence medicine in Germany? Sexism is a worldwide problem.

  • So you should have been born a white man.

  • So men back then think that the female organ that literally gave them life is pesky. Well okay, men like that don't have to be born then.

  • This doesn't even mention the problems about homophobia and transphobia in the medical industry. there have been recorded times when EMTs go to a medical emergency, only to stop giving care once they realize that the patent is transgender. Additionally, there have been multiple times where my friends who are lesbians have been relentlessly questioned about how they're definitely pregnant because they're sexually active, and don't even THINK that they might be gay. There's also countless cases of fatphobia, ageism and ableism. Many people who are in higher weight percentiles are dismissed real treatment under the explanation that they just need to lose weight. Young kids who may have chronic illnesses are dismissed because doctors and even parents assume they're exaggerating, as well as elderly people, who have real problems that can be fixed, but are just written off as being old. Ableism may be incredibly surprising to many, but when doctors are faced with people who have chronic illnesses, are deaf or even have mental illnesses, they aren't treated great either. People with chronic illnesses jump through hoops to get accommodations, and are often completely dismissed. Deaf people need interpreters to translate, when doctors should at least know basic medical sign language to have better connections with patients, and be able to diagnose issues without a middle man. Mental illnesses are also under diagnosed. Though many say they're being over diagnosed, that's really just research and science moving forward and learning there are more ways mental illnesses are expressed (ADHD isn't just bouncing off of walls, depression isn't just being sad). This creates a problem where doctors may try to keep the diagnosis rates of mental illness x at, say 10%, where in reality, due to research, it should be at 25%. this leaves 15% of people not diagnosed, and living life without an explanation for their symptoms. many other parts of mental illness are misunderstood, and not knowing about these things harms people more than doctors think they're helping.

  • Babadook😂😂

  • Doctor’s not taking me seriously is why I have decided to boycott medical care.

  • Doc, 'tis? This is either the priestly formula for parodies, or an ode to hypodermic needle wielding crusader troops from drugged up London talkin' Cockney on the dawks. I can't see the TV, I lost my spectacles again.

  • I can really relate to this. Had an endofuckingcrinologist IGNORE my repeated complaints about the med I was taking that could promote cancer cell growth AND the symptoms of uterine cancer that I kept complaining about. For just over a year. Everything I said went in one ear and out the other. First, he let my thyroid get so huge that it was about to start strangling me--literally--my thyroid was like a bandanna around my throat, and even going down into my chest to my heart and all the way around my fricking neck. He (TOLD me, not advised, TOLD me) to get a surgery, and refused to explain his justification for it, until I insisted on knowing why he was recommending it. It took two visits to drag it out of him, and he grudgingly said my thyroid was rather large and radiation therapy wouldn't work. I needed to have it taken out. Normally with thyroid removal, the surgery takes about an hour and a half. Mine took well over double that, at nearly 4 hours. And he never gave me one clue how bad things were, really. He never discussed my progress, test results, sonograms--NOTHING. As for the other problems, my gynecologist died right before my yearly appointment, then i had thyroid surgery and dealing with the other was pushed down the list until I recovered. Then it took me two months to get in with another clinic--and that was done so fast only because I had a referral from an ER after I went there when I was fainting from blood loss. When I finally got in with the GYN, those symptoms I'd complained about to my endocrinologist who ignored me? Cancer. That fucking son of a bitch endocrinologist almost fucking killed me. TWICE. I went right back there to that endo clinic after my diagnosis and told the fucking scumbag that he was fucking FIRED, and he was fucking lucky I didn't have the energy or will to sue his sexist murdering ass. AND I announced at the clinic desk that I wouldn't need a followup because I fired the fucker, rather than letting him nearly kill me, so not no but hell no would I ever need another appointment with their murderous asses. And I was fucking LOUD about it. Also slaughtered them on every review site I could find.

  • I’m a Latina with Crohn’s disease and unfortunately, chronic pain syndrome. I get bare minimum treatment or the very least because they assume I’m faking or drug seeking despite having a legit medical condition. I had a full colectomy a few months ago (along with a hernia repair, my abdomen went through A LOT). Three weeks later, I was vomiting like crazy and barely able to stay conscious. I thought it was because it was the middle of the night and I was sleepy but my husband knew something was wrong (he’s an EMT) and took me to the ER. The doctor was so nonchalant and kind of humored me with “we’ll do some blood work and a CT and send you home.” My husband wasn’t having it, had me vomiting in one of their basins to see this wasn’t normal. He never stays with me in the ER because I feel bad that he’s an EMT and spends all day there and I’ve dealt with Crohn’s long enough, I know the routine. This time he wouldn’t leave. After the scan, the doctor came running in and was like “omg, you have a bowel obstruction” and they prepped me up for admittance. I was in and out of consciousness for days afterwards and released a few days after being “normal.” I saw my gastro a couple days later and he sent me back because he felt they released me too early (a bowel obstruction three weeks post op on a major surgery and I was there for five days?) and he called ahead to let them know I was coming and to admit me. Both of these instances I feel like I was taken more serious because both these people are men and white. Yes, my doctor is one thing, but I’ve heard doctors talk shit about each other and do what they want and I’ve been straight up called out for faking or told without being examined that I’m probably fine. And from all my years of dealing with this, there have been a handful of times where I could’ve died because one doctor didn’t take me serious and it wasn’t until things were so bad and dire, they had to take action. It’s sad to think that if I didn’t have the support you of these two white men at this time, I most likely wouldn’t have gotten the care I needed/deserved.


  • Doctor's don't believe me at all when I go in for help due to symptoms. They see a strong young white man asking for help and think he must be wrong. I'VE BEEN REFUSED A PRESCRIPTION FOR CONTACTS BECAUSE THE DOCTOR SAID MY EYES LOOK FINE. He said all this without actually examining my eyes at all. That's just one example. Oh or my friend who got a viral infection in his eye was told to go home and use some Tylenol. Guess what he's a white male too. It's NOT only minorities and women who get looked over during medical treatment.

  • I have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and my doctor refuses to do anything but a blood test. They won’t do anything. It’s so frustrating to not be taken seriously because I can’t sleep at night. My entire body is in pain.

  • Is this why women live longer then men. This is a bunch of bullshit compiled by leftists to convince everyone that men are bad. Fuck you, you liberal cunts. Stop getting your news from a comedian.

    • Yeah, no. And Even if you threw a high maternal mortality rate into modern society, the longest-lived people would still be women. 97 out of 100 of the longest-lived people were all women. There’s a clear natural advantage. Maternal mortality just drops the average. It won’t affect the women who survive it or never have children. Also, male babies are more likely to die, be born with defects, and be miscarried. So that’s a natural disadvantage that lowers the male average. Even African elderly are primarily women. Despite the extreme sexism, gender violence, maternal mortality, and shitty healthcare. I read once that some African countries spend more money on erectile dysfunction than maternal & childbirth health.

    • GHOSTbirdnatureLOVER actually, you’re incorrect. Men used to have a greater lifespan in the 19th century when we really started looking at this subject. It was advances in medicine that changed the balance. Factors such as infant mortality, giving birth, and advances in infectious diseases all played a role. I know this because I don’t get my fucking information from a comedian.

    • Actually women live longer than men because we are naturally built for greater longevity. The sexes are biologically different. No surprise that lifespan is different.

  • That doctor at 4.40 should have gone into x and y chromosomes

  • IT happens mental health patient to

  • The father is taken more seriously then the kids

  • Wanda & Larry we’re not funny to me.

  • Stories like this just reinforce my notion of being so blessed to have the PCP I've had for the last ~20 years. I have a health condition that nobody can fully diagnose or treat, and my doctor has consistently listened to me about it for the last ten years since it developed. He encourages me to do research, he listens when I come across a new possible avenue or bring in articles I've read, and if he thinks it has a chance of being fruitful he gives me the referrals, tests, and medication samples needed to explore that new direction. He's never written me off or ignored me even though I'm female, and I am so, SO fortunate for that. I've had terrible doctors when I've seen specialists for my condition, and each time it makes me appreciate him more. I wish everyone could find a PCP like him.

  • They really should give Wanda Sykes her own show. She is loooooooooooads better than Lily Singh and she still checks all the boxes that Lily does. Woman. Person of color. Part of the LGBT ++ community. But most importantly, she is FUNNY.

  • This is hilarious, recently went through something like this recently in June of this year. Got hit by a car and had to revisit the E.R. several times during the first few weeks because of back pain. The first couple times the dr.'s that attended me where extremely professional. The last time I visited the E.R. a white male dr. was extremely disdainful and unprofessional. He saw that I kept revisting the E.R. and gave no actual interest in how I was, but went out of his way of and told me how we was going to change my medication to something else because he didn't think I needed that pain med but something weaker. Went into a rant that medication is something people need to be watched. I became aggravated but knew that I couldn't react the way that I was meant to, so I asked him what could I do to manage the pain. I suggest a back brace to help reduce the strain on my back and he laughed and replied with I can only give you one with a neck brace. This was the last time I've visited an E.R. To this day I'm still in excruciating pain.

  • Isn't this the first time a white man stepped out to give voice to a black woman on television?

  • Biologist here... just want to clear up some confusion about this "uterine cancer study with only male subjects" business. The title of the 1990 study being referred to is "Induction of estradiol metabolism by dietary indole-3-carbinol in humans." It's NOT as ridiculous as everyone's making it out to be - not even close. The study is based on the hypothesis that molecules called "indoles", which are found at high levels in foods like broccoli and cabbage, can influence the metabolism of estrogen. Specifically, the enzyme cytochrome P450 adds a hydroxyl group to the 2nd carbon position of estradiol. Previous studies indicated that there is a protective effect against estrogen-related cancers like breast and uterine when female patients have higher levels of this hydroxylated estradiol. Simply put, more hydroxylated estradiol = lower rates of breast and uterine cancer. The study set out to test whether adding indoles to the diet would result in more hydroxylated estradiol. They began by testing several different dietary indoles on (female) rats to see how they affected the levels of hydroxylated estradiol. They then chose the most potent one, indole-3-carbinol, to administer to human patients to see if it had the same effect. The very first line of the next relevant paragraph is: "Because gender differences are absent in the inducibility of estradiol C-2 metabolism in humans (1,14), we studied male subjects to eliminate the possible influence of fluctuating hormone levels." Previous studies (citations 1 and 14) showed that both men and women can have their estradiol hydroxylation metabolism induced by similar factors, so the authors made the reasonable assumption that there wouldn't be much of an absolute gender difference in human patients response to indoles either. The level of response may be different, but at least both men and women should be consistent in either having a response or not having a response. They chose to use male patients as they have more consistent hormone levels, which means the results wouldn't be as variable. For 7 days, the men (seems to be 7 of them) ate a pill each morning containing a dose of indole-3-carbinol equivalent to eating about 1 pound of cabbage, and their levels of estradiol hydroxylation were measured before and after this period. In all of the men, the levels increased significantly. The conclusion - dietary indole-3-carbinol increases estradiol hydroxylation, which means it might have uses in the future as a preventative measure against estrogen-dependent cancers like breast and uterine. That's it. It's a perfectly good initial exploratory study. The way it was brought up by John Oliver has obviously led some people to run away with the idea that the study in some way looked for uterine cancer in males, or made a conclusions along the lines of "look, when we used this treatment none of our male patients got uterine cancer!" It's all complete nonsense. This is a classic example of people being far too gullible and eager to believe that scientists are just so biased or stupid that they do completely idiotic studies. It's like when Sarah Palin tried to say in 2008 that scientists are wasting taxpayer money on silly projects like "fruit fly research", not understanding that research on fruit flies is incredibly valuable to our understanding of genetics, for example. Also, the very next year (1991), the same authors published another study performing essentially the same experiment using male AND FEMALE volunteers, and found the same results - both males and females show this response, validating their assumption in the initial pilot study. The study title is "Altered estrogen metabolism and excretion in humans following consumption of indole-3-carbinol." Even more later work includes a study called "Changes in Levels of Urinary Estrogen Metabolites After Oral Indole-3-Carbinol Treatment in Humans", performed by the same authors, again on men and women.

  • My doctor has always taken my concerns seriously. I must be lucky.

  • I'm not gonna lie I don't really trust doctors given our history with the medical field; Tuskegee experiments, Henrietta Lacks and not to mention modern-day gynecology would not have been possible if slave women weren't horribly experimented on with no ane-fuckin-sthesia. But if I have an issue I'll go vs not go!

  • whos here for a sociology assignment

  • Goes to Craigslist *hiring white man to talk to doctors* 😂

  • I patition to change the name to Last Sad Tonight 😂😂

  • The only biological difference is Skin Pigment...

  • 14k elitist white men disliked this video

    • Adeen no 14 thousand people who can see that he is lying disliked it. Stop seeing everything through a left wing lens

  • No there's not a finger in my ass that all started with a pedophile ass doctor the one that started f****** up s*** always want to play with somebody's hoes and s***

  • You know there is s whole division of medicine just for women called obstetrics and gynecology right? To treat issues that women face? Meanwhile there is nothing for men. You sjws are shameless.

    • amvlover666 andrology is only during specialization. Not for becoming a doctor, where as gynecology is its own separate thing from the beginning. No general medical treatment doesn’t Center around men. It centers around who can gets the disease more often statistically. As for an sjw thing, yeah when you make up bs about men you are making it a sjw thing.

    • did... you not even watch the video lmao. general medical treatment centers around men anyways, not to mention tons of other factors. also andrology very much exists and is the equivalent to gynecology but ok. make it a SJW issue

  • I can’t see Larry David requesting a BLT...🤔

  • Women often report symptoms that doctors confuse for GI distress when they have heart attacks. I have had at least three female friends who have had heart attacks say they were either sent home or almost sent home by a doctor with "female problems" while having a heart attack. Even though they weren't on their periods, even though they weren't reporting cramps.

  • I hope 14k people are disliking his comedy...and not the topic

  • 3:18 That's some BS. If I'm in pain I don't go to a doctor to have him diagnose _if_ I'm really feeling pain or not. I'm there to diagnose _why_ I'm feeling pain. It doesn't even matter if the pain is all in my head or not. If I still consider myself to be in pain, then I am.

  • Carefull with that "skin thickness" advices. Females DO have thinner skin then males by about 30% on average. So having "white male" say that his skin thickness is same as of black woman is mistake. This skin thickness difference plays role when it comes to electric current going into your body among other things (as part of some rehabilitations)

    • But this wasn't a sex thing, it was a race thing.

  • Actually it could be considered reverse racism that whites are overprescribed opioids and therefore quickly turn into junkies, loose everything, and then go to jail, be homeless, and/or overdose and die ! There was a black woman who talked about the pros and then horrible cons of commonly prescribed oppoids on one of John’s opioid pieces.

    • Ah yes the classic white guy response, YOU GUYS ARE THE REAL RACISTS FOR POINTING OUT RACISM.

  • I find John dark and not really that white since he has dark hair and dark eyes

  • Jesus Christ they don’t even do studies on breast cancer nor cervical cancer on females and only males.