(CNN) -- A deadly ailment killed Michael Jackson and Joan Rivers -- and may have figured in the death of the rock star, Prince.
It's called "VIP syndrome."
We still don't know all the details of Prince's death -- or the medical treatment that preceded it -- and are awaiting the autopsy results. But news accounts of the few weeks leading up to the discovery of his body in an elevator at Paisley Park describe a period of medical care and attempted medical care -- by both doctors and non-doctors -- that raises many troubling questions, including whether VIP syndrome occurred.
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First described in 1964, by a psychiatrist, Walter Weintraub, VIP syndrome occurs when doctors treat an "important" patient as "special," making exceptions to standard procedures. The doctors seek to accommodate these patients, foregoing appropriate tests and safety measures because the VIP might find these inconvenient.