Did Conrad Murray Kill Michael Jackson?: DrO weighs in!(Part One)

I have been silent on the issues for a while now but my readers are forcing me to render and opinion in the case.  Many of us have heard the old saying, “Where there is smoke there is fire!”  As a forensic Psychiatrist I am trained to look at the facts of a case and depositions a little differently. Here are a couple of facts for you to ponder:

  • Two doctors testified, under oath, testified that Dr.Murray refused to accept that Micheal was DOA (dead of arrival to the hospital)
  • Murray DID NOT reveal to medical providers that he had given Propofol (short-acting intravenously administered sedative-hypnotic)
  • He did reveal that he gave Lorazepam(commonly know as Ativan to lay persons) This drug is the kissing cousin of Alprazolam (commonly known as Xanax  to laypersons). Xanax has been called  the most addictive drug prescribed by Psychiatrists.  Drugs, in this class,  have been known to decrease the respiratory rates of humans.
  • Dr.Murray DID NOT activate 911 immediately. Phone records show that there was a critical delay that could have made a medical difference. There was testimony that Dr.Murray even called his girlfriend, Nicole Alvarez prior to activating EMS.  It appears that he may have panicked once Michael stopped responding.
  • The statement of testimony was that Dr.Murray screamed while doing chest compressions on Michael, “Does Anyone Know CPR?’ I am not sure why he would render this question in the crisis. Rumor has it his CPR certification had expired. So has mine so I better move on to the next fact. LOL However, all licensed physicians in America should know the ABCs of sustaining life for their patients.


Go to TMZ.Com to view the actual timeline of developments.  They have done a great job of spelling out the facts of this case.


My opinions and observations:

  1. As physicians we are trained to, “First Do No harm!”  It  appears that Dr. Murray’s judgment may have been a little off concerning the administration of a hypnotic agent outside of a hospital environment.
  2. Michael’s weight should have been of concern to Dr. Murray and I am wondering if appropriate clinical attention had been given to this issue. (i.e. dose-related adjustments of medications based on weight)
  3. As a rule, most physicians don’t practice medicine in their patients home. A few, not many, do make house-calls but for only very basic procedures.  There are also specific regulations required to store controlled substances and oxygen both inside and outside of the hospital.
  4. I really would like to review the court transcripts on the process and timeline of activating EMS or 911. I am concerned if my colleague, Dr.Murray, would delay in getting his patient, Michael Jackson emergent medical help.

In conclusion, I would never pass any premature judgment on a colleague.  However, there appears to be a few deviations from what we call, “normal standard of care” that may cause the defense some difficulty. I will follow this case and keep you updated. Let’s remain open and non-judgmental. I know that it may be hard for those of us who grew-up with the Icon Michael Jackson.

1. Do you think Dr.Murray should be convicted of Murder or Involuntary Manslaughter?

2.  Do you think that he deviated from the normal “standard of care?”

3.  Should the Jackson family “hold harmless” Dr. Murray since he was just doing what Micheal requested?

4. Should Dr. Murray be fined or go to jail for his clinical actions with this patient that just happens to be Michael Jackson?

Please let me hear from you on this issue……..

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