The care of VIPs in the emergency department: Triage, treatment and ethics

Am J Emerg Med. 2018 Oct;36(10):1881-1885. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2018.07.009. Epub 2018 Jul 4.


People identified as Very Important Persons (VIPs) often present or are referred to the Emergency Department (ED). Celebrities are a small subset of this group, but many others are included. Triage of these patients, including occasional prioritization, creates practical and ethical challenges. Treatment also provides challenges with the risks of over testing, overtreatment, over consultation, and over or under admission to the hospital. This article presents a practical and ethical framework for addressing the care of VIPs in the ED.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Famous Persons*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Patient Safety
  • Patient Selection
  • Privacy
  • Triage / ethics*
  • Triage / organization & administration