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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dr. Conrad Murray Prepares to Surrender Himself to Authorities

The Michael Jackson story moves forward as Dr. Conrad Murray prepares to surrender himself to authorities. Murray flew to Los Angeles from Houston, Texas last weekend, preparing to be charged with the death of the pop icon because of an anesthetic he administered to Jackson last June. Michael Jackson's death caused by an overdose of propofol, a strong pain medication generally only used in a hospital environment; the drug is a white liquid and has amnesic effects, it has been dubbed by medical professionals "milk of amnesia". Propofol was mixed with two benzodiazepines (sedatives) on the night that Jackson died; the combination was nothing new for Jackson who had been abusing medications for years. The death was ruled a homicide by the coroner's office, Dr. Murray is likely to be charged with involuntary manslaughter which can carry a sentence of four years maximum.

Dr Murray, a cardiologist, has always insisted that he gave the singer nothing that should have killed him. However, Propofol is a drug given before surgery, only to be administered in hospital settings by a professional anesthetist. There is no question whether or not Murray is culpable, rather, to what degree. Michael had been battling his addictions for years as well as severe anorexia, refusing treatment time and time again. Murray is just one doctor in a long list who have prescribed and administered unnecessary drugs to Jackson; the history here is extensive and it seems that more than just Murray are culpable. Addiction is ultimately what caused Jackson's death; he hired the physicians that provided his fix. Hopefully, if Murray is charged with manslaughter it will have an effect on other doctors and curb needless prescriptions merely to make a dollar. Thousands of people overdose from prescription medications, medicines that were not warranted by the patient.

"Prosecutors will have to show the doctor deviated from accepted medical norms when he administered propofol in a non-medical setting while Jackson already had other sedatives in his system. Ed Chernoff, Murray's lead lawyer, said: "I haven't received any phone call from anybody asking for the doctor to surrender. If we get the call, we'll be happy to"," reports the Telegraph.

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