It’s not clear if any doctor could have averted the fentanyl overdose that killed Prince in April. But his death may offer evidence for how the special treatment often afforded the rich and famous can result in worse health care than ordinary Americans receive.
One physician delivered test results to Prince’s home. Another sent his son, who wasn’t a doctor, on a cross-country flight to bring medication to the music star.
The tendency for doctors to veer into risky territory when caring for a prominent person was identified in medical literature as early as 1964. It has a name: “VIP Syndrome.”
Experts agree that doctors treating Michael Jackson and Joan Rivers lost their bearings and made fatal mistakes in the glare of their patients’ fame.