Loyal fans of Michael Jackson continue their reverent parade into Forest Lawn this week, placing flowers at the famed entertainer’s mausoleum on the fifth anniversary of his death. And the train-wreck of a physician who killed him continues to yammer his “innocence” in the homicide, to anyone foolish enough to listen. And CNN certainly was.
“I am very remorseful that Michael has passed,” was Conrad Murray’s response to a CNN reporter.
Of course he is remorseful. Thanks to his egomaniacal “treatment” and inane carelessness, his lab-coat blundering cost him a $150,000 a month job.
Murray, now age 61, convicted in Los Angeles of involuntary manslaughter over Jackson’s 2009 death, voiced sadness but insisted he was not to blame.
Who wouldn’t be sorry?
As many of us can recall, Jackson was found dead on June 25, 2009, of what turned out to be a clinical overdose of the surgical anesthetic drug propofol, which slows the activity of the brain and central nervous system. Massive amounts of the drug were administered by his doctor to help treat insomnia as the singer prepared for the “This is It” performances in London.
Like many sedating anesthetics, propofol lowers the patient’s blood pressure and suppresses breathing. Any doctor smarter than a 5th grader knows, therefore, that the EKG and breathing of a person under propofol need to be closely monitored. Which is exactly why the protocol is to not leave your patient alone, not even 10 seconds. Did Murray make sure that Jackson was connected to a heart monitor at the time? Did he administer oxygen?
Of course not. That would be . . . you know . . . real patient care. Michael Jackson was not a patient. He was a wealthy client drugged into a deliberate stupor. And compulsive womanizer Murray thought that was the perfect time to go off to a quiet room and chat with at least three of his six baby mommas.
And what did Murray do when he did find his “patient” not breathing? Well, he cleaned up the room of all the propofol bottles and waited an hour and 22 minutes before making the 911 call. And when L.A. fire medics arrived, Murray lied to them repeatedly as they asked their lifesaving questions.
Because that’s what competent physicians do, isn’t it?
Murray, who functioned at the time as Jackson’s live-in drug dealer in the rented mansion at 100 North Carolwood Drive, Los Angeles, was found guilty in the death in 2011 and jailed for a whopping 730 days. Why only two years? Because physicians in the United States are held to the lowest level of criminal discipline. Courts (occasionally, not usually) spank their sassy butts. But not too hard. Judges save the real punishment for street dealers who don’t hold medical degrees.
Prior to even meeting Michael Jackson, Conrad Murray had managed to accumulate an impressive track record of personal and professional recklessness. His million-dollar Las Vegas mansion was in foreclosure; his medical practice faced $630,000 in court judgments. The man had federal tax liens, lawsuits and unpaid child support to a string of unwed mothers of his children – all of which haunted him right up until he was offered a $5,000 per day job to provide drugs to the most famous drug addict in the world. So Murray was the perfect patsy, and pop star Jackson had finally found a medical professional who would do what so many others refused to do: drug him up and keep their mouths shut.
After the infamous death, investigators discovered more than 20 prescription bottles inside the rented mansion, including methadone, fentanyl, percocet, dilaudid, and vicodin. Some were shamefully prescribed in the names of his own small children. The fact was Michael Jackson, who looked like death warmed over even on good days, was a walking corpse in the weeks of his attempted come-back.
In his defense, Conrad Murray has always pointed to his suspicion that Jackson was ingesting unknown drugs prescribed by other doctors – and he is right. The only drug by another MD that Murray did know about was the skin bleaching crème Benoquin, prescribed by Jackson’s longtime dermatologist, Arnold Klein. But Klein’s nurse was injecting their famous client with pharmaceutical heroin three times per week, and those needle marks were obvious. Which is precisely why Murray – had he possessed at least five active brain cells – would have been running routine blood tests on his famous client. Lab results would have allowed Murray to know exactly what drugs were in his client’s system, and in what amounts.
Nearly as sad as an unnecessary death is the childlike “love” so many of Jackson’s fans continue to profess. Many thousands refuse to believe their hero was ever a drug addict, including the hundreds who gathered at the doorstep of Arnold Klein’s medical office at 435 North Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills three days per week. In the months before he died, Jackson’s narcotic injection visits became so regular the fans could nearly set their watches on his clinical appearances.
In the end, the take-aways from this tawdry tale are many. Here are but three:
1. Physicians have always made terrific back-door drug dealers as long as their patients don’t . . . you know . . . die.
2. Conrad Murray now joins the 250,000 other wayward doctors listed in the National Practitioner Data Bank – an extraordinary number of whom were also guilty of professional prostitution.
3. Doctors who kill patients out of carelessness and incompetence can expect to be lightly punished, if at all. They subsequently go right on with their lives and continue treating unknowing patients behind closed doors for fun and profit.
And we can promise you this: Conrad Murray will move from California and be quietly reissued another medical license by another medical authority.
Any chance that he could be deported? Not on your life. The United States does not deport homicidal physicians.
We relicense them.
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Here is an excellent investigative report on the subject of relicensing medical miscreants:
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