August 19, 2019

John Oliver lays bare the medical bias against women, black patients. Wanda Sykes offers Larry David as a solution
"If you're a woman and/or a person of color in the U.S., you may well have a very different relationship to our health care system than a white man," John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight. "So frankly, who better to talk at you for 20 minutes about this than me, the whitest of white men?" "Tonight, let's talk about bias in medicine in two specific areas: first sex, and then race," Oliver said. "And in the words of every therapist I've ever had, let's start with sex." He did, focusing on why some doctors have "woman-shaped blind spots" when it comes to treatment and pain management, and how "the consequence can be deadly," like with heart attacks. "Sex and gender bias can clearly distort medical outcomes, but they are not the only forms of bias that can do that," he said. "And now, if I may quote the inside of Donald Trump's head when energy at one of his rallies seems to be flagging, let's get to the racism stuff. Because there is a huge disparity in life expectancy between black and white Americans, particularly for black men." But "there's perhaps no starker expression of where sex and race can negatively impact health care outcomes than maternal mortality," Oliver said. "Currently, the United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world — which is already terrible. But it gets even worse for black women," whose odds of dying in childbirth are three to four times higher, largely because doctors believe black women less when they express concerns about symptoms, especially pain. "These racial disparities exist even when you control for socioeconomic factors like education or insurance status," he said. "We are literally disbelieving black women to death." At this point, Oliver finally stepped aside and let Wanda Sykes offer some solutions, including her fallback plan, "bring a white man" to repeat your complaints to the doctors — and if you don't have one, she has a loaner "who loves complaining to doctors." You can access Larry David's women's complaints at WhatsLarrysProblem.com, and you can watch the occasionally NSFW video below.

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