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Celebs Medical Care-The Scourge of the VIP

Sharon Stone has publicly said a large fibroid tumor was missed by medical professionals. This followed a prior incident where she reported she was given larger breast implants without her knowledge when she was undergoing reconstruction surgery. We all know that Michael Jackson was killed by his personal doctor who failed to monitor him while he was given Propofol (an anesthetic that is NEVER used at home). Dr. Murray was on the payroll for $150K a month!

There are dozens of stories of wealthy celebs who received poor medical care. Dennis Quaid and his wife settled a case where their newborn twins were given the wrong drug and spent weeks in the ICU. Julie Andrews suffered a botched vocal cord surgery when the wrong size was operated on. Healthy Joan Rivers died prematurely during a routine endoscopy. (Where staff was snapping photos of her). John Ritter died of a dissecting aorta that was missed on a CT scan. Pop singer Kylie Minogue was misdiagnosed with breast cancer. And we've all seen the photos of botched plastic surgery. Yikes! The list goes on and on.

Since they can afford the absolute best, and travel in private jets anywhere in the world to get medical care, why do celebs seem to get worse care than us average folks?

I call it the Scourge of the VIP. Looks, fame, money and status can be deadly if doctors get dazzled and treat stars differently than evidence based medical practice. Celebs can be entitled and demanding and the "doctors to the stars" and hospitals may cater to them in ways that end up harming. Trevor Noah filed a lawsuit against his doctors and hospital for "failing to treat and care for him in a careful and skillful manner". The key words here are "careful and skillful". When doctors become unconventional and start catering to celebs, complications follow. Snapping a selfie during surgery, making home visits with dangerous medications, doing procedures without proper safety, enjoying the status rather than focusing on the patient as an ordinary person lead to medical errors.

It's important for all medical professionals to check themselves if they start fawning over a celeb. We can say "no" if it is not medically indicated, even if the famous (wealthy) person doesn't like it. We should all want a doctor that says "No" with a good reason why. There are too many interventions that can be done, but perhaps shouldn't be done. And getting a 2nd opinion is always a wise choice if you feel ignored or question a diagnosis.

Every patient is a VIP. In medicine equal treatment can be life-saving.


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