When you have money or are a well-known individual, either as a celebrity
or otherwise, does that put you at a higher risk of injury due to medical
mistakes? That could be the case.
One of the medical terms you may not have heard of in the past is “VIP
Syndrome.” The term refers to mistakes made because of a person’s
status. For instance, if a celebrity comes to the hospital for treatment
and is given special treatment that results in an overdose later, then
that could be a case caused by VIP syndrome.
In the news, experts have said that fatal mistakes are sometimes made due
to a patient’s fame. For instance, when Prince died recently, questions
about his care came up. Did he get the care he needed, or were certain
issues missed because of his fame or wealth? Did he receive medications
he shouldn’t have, or were his medications delivered in inappropriate manners?
This syndrome doesn’t only affect celebrities. Described in a 1964
paper, the syndrome was described as shorthand for the way fame or the
influence of wealth can cause doctors to cater to the demands of those
individuals. These individuals may demand ineffective treatments or ask
for harmful treatments that they receive due to being able to compensate
the medical professional for those services. Doctors who are star-struck
by a person’s celebrity may not order enough tests or could ask
for too many.
Sometimes, it’s the medical profession’s professional judgment
that’s affected; for instance, when Joan Rivers had surgery, one
took photos of her while she was under anesthesia That was a distinct
breach of protocol. If this happens to you and you’re in a position
of celebrity or wealth, consider speaking to your attorney about the potential
for VIP syndrome and its effect on your case.