Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Bias in Medicine, Greenland, Hong Kong

John OliverThe August 18 episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver was chock full of worthy content to talk about, and it began with places far away from the United States. Take, for example, Donald Trump supposedly wanting to purchase Greenland … or the protests that are going on within Hong Kong. From there, Oliver also discussed the coverage that is going on within China, including them blaming at times “foreign agents” for some of the unrest going on in the area.

Following some coverage of the protests, and a look at Trump’s own comments on them, Oliver then transitioned over to an annual tradition — him mocking the annual Pumpkin Spice Latte announcement. We know this is coming every single year and yet, we still always find it to be funny.

Now, let’s go to the main segment on the night — doctors. Or, to be specific, medical bias. When you go to the doctor’s office or the hospital, you want to get better. You don’t want to think that you’re being treated differently because of the color of your skin or your gender. Yet, according to the data that Oliver presented on the show tonight, there is a huge disparity when it comes to how pain is treated, opioids, other drugs that are handed down, and so much more. The data in here is starting, mostly because the doctor is such a private place for so many people that you don’t think of inherent biases when you’re there unless you are one of the people being discriminated against.

Let’s be clear here — we don’t think that this segment is going to get the attention that last week’s did — there is no marble cake setting a record here. Yet, we’re talking about a subject that hits close to home and does impact so many different people. Take, for example, the infant mortality rate that is out there for African-American women. This is an issue that was looked at recently in an episode of The Resident and it’s heartbreaking. This was a powerful segment — we know that this is a comedy but, but there are times that it can be serious and striking. We did get a rare celebrity appearance at the end, as Wanda Sykes showed up at the end to offer up her take on things.

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