Shoa L.Clarke makes a good point in discussing the issues regarding paying additional fees for services in hospitals. Inequality based upon disposable income is a real issue in the world and her sensitivity is notable.
The defining experience in hospitals, clinics and offices is the doctor-patient relationship. I was trained to see past gender, wealth, status, location and even hygiene in order to deliver the essential caring that is the soul of what we are as doctors; caring healers able to reach across the bedside and help our ailing patients feel better, and get better if possible.
Dr. Clarke is right to point out the inherent problems in the current trend to provide luxury services at hospitals. Ideally, all patients should have the best of everything, however; that is just not the case, and a red blanket, VIP status or a luxury suite should not cloud medical decision making. Only a physician's mindfulness and compassion can truly level the care of all our patients.