It is of course no secret that the wealthy get treated differently from the rest of us and the world of medical care is no exception. Doctors often stray from standard treatments when their patient is seen a an important figure, sometimes in an effort to impress the patient that they are doing as much as they can, and sometimes because the patient demands it. This can happen even when the patient is a friend or relative or a fellow doctor. As we have seen, Trump got all manner of treatments that ordinary people would never have received. This phenomenon even has a name, the ‘VIP syndrome’. But it is not clear that this is a good thing even from the patient’s point of view, because it can result in overly-aggressive treatment that can have unwanted side-effects.
On Friday, after the White House revealed that the president had been given an unapproved but promising antibody cocktail, medical professionals warned that his special treatment, known colloquially in medical circles as “VIP syndrome,” may have adverse effects.
“When a patient is high profile, there’s a temptation to break away from the standard medical care that you would give to any other patient — and sometimes to the disadvantage to the patient, the VIP,” said Dr. Mark Siegel, a Yale academic and physician.
Dr. Lew Kaplan, president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and a surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania, warned that these types of “non-standard processes, they invite error.”
“One of the swiftest ways to have things go awry is to be treated as a special person,” Kaplan explained, “because it derails the usual process.”
“They are administering a lot of unproven therapies to the president of the United States,” Levy added. “All I can say is, I would never use that stuff in my ICU.”
Siegel said the president’s aggressive treatment plan may reflect an effort by his medical staff “to do more rather than pull back, for fear of being criticized” — another potential side effect of VIP syndrome.
Trump of course while benefiting from receiving a lot of care despite paying only $750 in taxes, says that he wants everyone to get the same experimental drug Regeneron and that he will give it away for free and the military is ready to deliver it to everyone all over the country.
Does anyone really believe this bilge? Trump’s promises become more and more outlandish by the day.