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CNN:
 A jury has found Dr. Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.

Murray faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.

Murray was Jackson's personal physician as the pop star prepared for his comeback concerts. Murray gave Jackson the surgical anesthetic propofol to help him sleep nearly every night for the last two months of his life, according to testimony.

Deliberations by the jury of seven men and five women began Friday after a 23-day trial and lasted for about 10 hours.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Now can we get on with talking about REAL things? (7+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:36:30 PM PST

    •  It's a bit of both, zb (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kestrel9000, Vita Brevis, Drewid, Avila

      Doctors shouldn't get a blanket shield of immunity in prescribing drugs. This was a pretty clear case of amounted to a blank prescription pad left in the hands of a drug addict. What should be done about it? And, yes, this is a celebrity case but perhaps some non-celebrity doctors will think twice about handing out 'scripts for pain-killers with reckless disregard for human life?

      GOP 2012 -- Austerity is just around the corner!

      by ontheleftcoast on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:45:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jackson didn't die from pain killers, (10+ / 0-)

        he died from a medical anistetic, the kind they only give you before major surgery.

        Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do. B. Franklin Wish you were here.

        by Drewid on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:55:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  More likely option is those of us who actually (7+ / 0-)

        suffer from extreme pain will get shafted as doctors will be even more reticent to prescribe something that will work out of fear of the DEA and comments like yours that show a severe lack of info on pain, its causes and cures.....

        I take 300mg Morphine a day plus muscle relaxants and oxycodone for breakthrough pain....

        I tried injections therapy surgery etc...nothing really works completely but at least the opiates give me a few decent hours a day.....

        Luckily I have a good GP who isn't afraid of the DEA and had all the findings verified by Neuro, Ortho, and a pain clinic before beginning treatment.....

        and I'm one of the lucky ones whose screwed up spine actually shows on mri/ct/even xray as it's so bad......

        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
        Emiliano Zapata

        by buddabelly on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:00:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sadly, you might be right (4+ / 0-)

          Those that really need chronic pain care get lumped in with the others like Jackson.

          GOP 2012 -- Austerity is just around the corner!

          by ontheleftcoast on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:02:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  chronic pain is chronically undertreated. (6+ / 0-)

          What Murray did has nothing to do with treating chronic pain.  He was giving a drug in a setting where it was likely to cause death, and it did so.
          The outcome of the Murray trial will be that untrained physicians will be unlikely to giev patients propofol in non-monitored home settings- it should not make physicians who specialize in chronic pain treatment reluctant to give appropriate drugs and other therapies to chronic pain patients.

          I think you will find that most physicians ( certainly all whose opinions I know) are relieved that Murray was convicted- not of oversubscribing but of criminal negligence for using a general anesthetic in a patient's home with no monitoring whatsoever- and then walking away.- and not having the equipment or even knowing how to perform ACLS.

          As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

          by BPARTR on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:28:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  true, read the comment I replied to..... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kestrel9000

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 06:15:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Jackson's incredible (0+ / 0-)

            financial power made this an unfair case. Jackson surely would have taken the drug without doctors orders. His chances were better under care than without it at all. People die from drugs. It is a fact. Celebrities make such choices in order to negotiate their abnormal and energetic lives.

            This was not homicide. It may have been malpractice, but not homicide. The doctor made a very poor professional decision under intense financial pressure which most people cannot understand. It is hard to say no to powerful people. Sometimes, in the course of their work, people take risks. They somehow come to a conclusion that they can get through an incident based on subjective probabilities that look better than the alternatives. The fact that Jackson had been doing this for years shows that the risk is nowhere near what it is being portrayed as. In Jackson's case, it is at most 1/60 because Murray did it 60 times and Jackson lived. There is no record of how many other such incidents there were, but surely many.

            Murray took a calculated risk and lost. He drew the black card. Millions of people will take the same level of risk tomorrow and make it through. Lady luck is not fair, and it is not fair to base social policy on the most unlucky cases.

            Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
            Mark Twain

            by phaktor on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 07:45:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (4+ / 0-)

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:37:26 PM PST

  •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila, doingbusinessas, Juliann

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:40:04 PM PST

  •  Yet another in a long line... (8+ / 0-)

    ...of criminal trials that were none of my business. Still:

    I ordered enchiladas and I ate 'em. Ali had the fruit punch. - A Tribe Called Quest

    by turnover on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:41:35 PM PST

  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zack from the SFV, Avila

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:44:54 PM PST

  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila, doingbusinessas

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:48:28 PM PST

  •  Huh. (4+ / 0-)

    It took nearly twenty years for Elvis' doctor to have his license revoked, much less convicted of anything (though he was prosecuted).

    I ordered enchiladas and I ate 'em. Ali had the fruit punch. - A Tribe Called Quest

    by turnover on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:50:21 PM PST

  •  Prescribing propofol for sleep is like (13+ / 0-)

    Giving 10 mgs of I.V morphine for a paper cut.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:50:37 PM PST

  •  asdf (4+ / 0-)

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:51:18 PM PST

  •  asdf (5+ / 0-)

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:55:46 PM PST

  •  Sounds about right (9+ / 0-)

    a sad end to a bizarre ride.

    'canter' is a horse's gait - 'cantor' is a horse's ass. - GayIthacan

    by qannabbos on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:55:46 PM PST

  •  I think Michael Jackson hit his peak... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila, kestrel9000

    ...with "I Want You Back."  It was all downhill from there.

    "Look, my administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks," - Obama cutting off the bankers re their rationalization of bonuses.

    by dov12348 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:57:50 PM PST

  •  asdf (4+ / 0-)

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 01:58:56 PM PST

  •  OMG (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ed Tracey

    We must now face the bleakness of a world without Michael Jackson gossip. I just don't think that I can go on.

  •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme, Avila, Juliann

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:02:28 PM PST

  •  this will now suck the news cycle for 24 hours (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ed Tracey

    Cain's scandal gets bumped down a peg

  •  And why should we care? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, Ed Tracey, pot

    An incompetent doctor overdoses a child star who never grew up and exhibited nothing but bizarre aberrant behavior his entire "adult" life.  Why waste your valuable time following "entertainers" who are complete strangers rather than being involved with causes and people who exist in reality?

    Step away from the boob tube and enjoy real life instad.

  •  asdf (4+ / 0-)

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:07:21 PM PST

  •  One of the MSNBC pundits said there was nothing (5+ / 0-)

    to celebrate here.  I would quibble with that, that we can 'celebrate' the fact that a man who was so shockingly far from following the standards of practice that protect people will, in all likelihood, lose the ability to practice medicine.

    I have no real axe to grind as to whether or not he should go to jail, but the world will, in some small part, be a safer place for patients in California without Dr Murray being allowed to arbitrarily decide how to use medication in ways that contravene common sense.

    •  I would agree that his judgement is poor (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, Avila, ER Doc, kestrel9000

      and he certainly shouldn't be practicing medicine. (I see no point in a jail sentence, but IANAL).

      But if not Murray, Jackson would have found somebody to give him what he wanted. It is very sad all around. And I'm not even remotely a fan, I just see the pathos.

      ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~

      by sillia on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 02:59:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To say that his judgement was poor (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme, ER Doc, kestrel9000

        is to say that someone who starts shooting in a crowed bar is exhibiting bad judgement.  Even if the shooter has no intention of actually hitting anyone, if someone dies the shooter is guilty of negligent homicide.  He didn't mean to kill the person but his actions were such that it was likely that he would do so.

        Malpractice is making medical mistakes.  Make frequent or large mistakes and your license will be taken away.  Criminal negligent homicide is acting in a way that makes death likely- and is completely outsides the bounds of protection by his medical license.

        Just because Jackson was his "patient" ( if that is possible when he was paying 150K/mo) doesn't make everything that Murray does a medical malpractice issue or limit his liability if he practices completely outside the standard of practice  in the community.  (A doctor performing exorcisms or using jellybeans to treat cancer is not merely guilty of malpractice.)

        As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

        by BPARTR on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:22:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  michael died as he lived, in a bizarro world of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    two moms in Az

    his own making. hope he's happy now.

    Vote Papoon for President "Not Insane"

    by Sweetcream on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:05:52 PM PST

    •  I agree, Sweetcream. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, Avila, kestrel9000

      And one of the sad things is that he never understood that it was a bizarro world.  He didn't know how weird he was.  Its one thing to have a public persona, a stage persona, and a real life that's fairly normal.  It's another to have your whole life be so far over the edge.  Sad.  I hope he's at peace.  He left us music, and lots of questions.

      I will sing you a song no one sang to me, you can be anybody that you want to be

      by two moms in Az on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 03:15:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  gracias, papi (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000

    love the music.  you save a dance for me?

  •  What Murray did (5+ / 0-)

    was clearly beyond malpractice.  It fits the definition of neligent homicide perfectly.  The propofol did exactly what it was intended to do. Apnea (stopping breathing) is an entirely predictable outcome of an unregulated iv drip of propofol. Michael Jackson is (non)living proof that you need an anesthesiologst to administer anesthetics.

    Giving propofol, unmonitored and with no ressucitative equipment at hand is criminal on it's face, regardless of the outcome.

    The astounding and depressing thing is that an anesthesiologist was found who would testify in his defense, despite having written the rules governing the use of propofol in outpatient ( but medical) settings.  Not entirely surprisingly, he was cited twice for contempt of court while doing so.

    As an anesthesiologist, I am saddened that any physician would behave in such a manner (as either Murray or Paul White).  The laws allow anyone with a "physician's and surgeon's" license to perform medicine and surgery.  Despite working in an OR for 25 years, I would never consider doing cardiac or neurosurgery even though my license allows it.

    When a physician takes on one patient at $150,000/month, he stops being the patient's doctor and becomes his employee (and pusher).

    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

    by BPARTR on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 04:12:29 PM PST

  •  Getting up in the (0+ / 0-)

    morning is dangerous. Do you know how many people choked to death on food last year? All medications are dangerous, and some incredible number of people will die from over-the-counter medications every day.

    Accidents happen. It is clearly obvious a doctor has a theoretical duty of care, but trying to legislate that duty of care results only in crude adjustments being made to the system. Those crude adjustments, which make their way into your medical treatment by your doctor's case law inspired fears, have profound effects on how patients are treated by all physicians. It also makes huge changes in the treatments  available to those who need them and for who the risk is acceptable.

    Michael Jackson was a cultural hero, and everyone is looking for a scapegoat for his death -- so the history books won't read that he was just another celeb druggie who OD'd. By holding the physician criminally responsible for his death (which is a long shot because Jackson surely would have taken the drug against doctors orders) does only one thing. It makes doctors more reluctant to prescribe potentially addictive and potentially hazardous drugs to patients -- both to those who need them and to those who don't.

    We are handing over our freedoms here. It will be harder tomorrow to get pain medication than it was today -- whether you need it or not.  We are saying, as a society, that we want doctors to be responsible for our decisions, and that we are willing to endure suffering if the doctor senses any risk whatsoever. We are opting to make a huge crude adjustment in the way doctors reason and think about prescribing, making it harder to get legitimate treatment as well as illegitimate treatment. We are sacrificing our freedom (and the inherent responsibility which comes with it) to the "safety" god, and we will all suffer more for it.

    It is a big price to pay for providing a scapegoat for the death of a man who, by any measure, was powerful enough to get anything he wanted -- someone whose life and context the average person cannot even understand.

    Today, we limited our freedom a little more, just to save face. Just so Michael could be a "murder victim" instead of just another rich celeb who used drugs to power their incredibly abnormal and exceptional lives.

    Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
    Mark Twain

    by phaktor on Mon Nov 07, 2011 at 07:29:04 PM PST

    •  I agree partly. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, phaktor

      Michael jackson was

      just another rich celeb who used drugs to power their incredibly abnormal and exceptional lives

      And, yes, he could get any drugs he wanted.  He just had to pay his pusher 150k/mo.  At that point, Murray was not acting as a physician.

      Physicians have a specific duty- and it is greater than that of a pusher.

      Murray gave a potent general anesthetic in an unmonitored setting with no resucitative equipment or even knowledge of ACLS.  HIs actions were likely to cause death- and the fact that he got away with it 60 times does not make it safe or make it not negligent homicide.  You could fire a gun in to a crowd 60 times and not kill anyone but if you fired the 61st time and killed someone it would be negligent homicide.
      We have not lost freedom because physicians are not likely to prescribe propofol in someone's home, we have gained safety ( and freedom from harm).  One can argue that any safety law ( like those preventing disharge of firearms in crowded rooms ) reduce our freedom- but they give all of us freedom to live.  the same holds for government regulations on polluters of our water supply, seat belt laws and so on.

      As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

      by BPARTR on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 08:45:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can you put a (0+ / 0-)

        quantitative value - even a rough estimate - on what you mean by "likely"? In all the procedures where this stuff is used, which includes, I know for one, things like colonoscopy and other minor procedures which may be performed in places other than hospitals (but, I agree, obviously where appropriate experience and equipment are standing by), how many people actually have some life-threatening event -- have to be resuscitated or have some kind of need for emergency intervention? I am not a doctor, but I am a statistician, and I think your comparison to firing a gun into a crowd is an exaggeration.  It is dishonest as a persuasive argument. What you are saying is the risk is far above what the typical practicing physician would allow in most circumstances. Why? Because the patient and the doctor are looking at the same quantitative risk, but it has different meaning to both. And they are both right.

        If the risk is .01, and I want or need the treatment, it makes sense to go for it, because I will likely win the game. But you -- the physician -- will treat 100 people and one of them will die. The risk that is being avoided is the same quantitatively for us both, but we actually have different perspectives which will effect our decisions and legitimately effect our subjective risk-benefit analysis. It makes sense for me to take a .01 risk for something I really need, but it does not make sense for you to provide it (because I will likely win, but you will likely eventually lose).

        The risk that is actually being considered then is the risk as seen by the physician -- not the patient. And this game is not about the well-being of the physician.

        If the "milk" were that dangerous, use would not be so common. Even if Murray took risks which would be extraordinarily prohibitive under normal circumstances for a physician working under normal circumstances, it was surely still a calculated risk -- some type of risk-benefit analysis went on in his head (however flawed). In fact, he resisted Jackson's demands as long as he felt he could, before making the fateful decision.

        He made a bad decision. Luck called his hand. He suffered the consequences. But it is a far leap to firing a gun into a crowd, which would almost certainly result in death. I think this is different. It is malpractice, not murder.

        Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
        Mark Twain

        by phaktor on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 06:24:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it was not bad luck (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          phaktor

          I wrote a long answer, which has disappeared, but the gist is that the guess of how likely is near 100%.  Propofol routinely makes people apneic ( stop breathing)- and the provider breathes for the patient until it wears off.  That is not an emergency, unless the provider is in another room and there are no monitors.

          Even sedatives like midazolam have caused multiple deaths when given in unmonitored settings,. ( I remember 25-30 deaths in the first few months after midazolam, a valium like drug) was introduced.  It was used in unmonitored settings like colonoscopy suites and x-ray and caused a large number of codes, and a tragic number of deaths before it became national standard to have monitors in those settings.  I sat on a VA committee which made the first requirements, that are now nearly universal in the ocountry.

          Propofol is many times more likely to produce apnea than midazolam.  It has an extremently small therapeutic index between sedation and apnea.  In fact when I use it as an induction agent at only slightly larger doses than used in the ICU ( in patients who are intubated and mechanically ventilated)  100% of my patients become apneic.  That is the intent.

          When you had your colonoscopy with propofol, you had a credentialed provider with moniotring, recuss equipment and an electronic pump to regulate the delivery of drug, and he/she did not leave you alone or allow you to adjust the drip!  Otherwise, we would probably not be having this conversation.

          The bottom line with general anesthetics is "Don't try this at home kids".  It is not a decision of risk/benefit by the physician- it is patently unsafe and extremely likely to cause death.  Just because a physician made the decision does not make it malpractice.  it is both malpractice and negligent homicide.

          As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

          by BPARTR on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 04:37:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I will have to (0+ / 0-)

            accept your professional knowledge on this:

            Propofol routinely makes people apneic ( stop breathing)- and the provider breathes for the patient until it wears off.
            It has an extremently small therapeutic index between sedation and apnea.

            Provided routinely means something more than, say,  .01, I defer.

            Of course, now that I am switching sides, I would also think it was exacerbated to the point of insanity to give it after he swallowed all the benzodiazipines.

            Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
            Mark Twain

            by phaktor on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 09:17:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  absolutely correct (0+ / 0-)

              The benzodiazapines potentiate the effect of propofol.  The long acting ones ( lorazepam) have effects for days.
              Add to that narcotics which shift the CO2 respone curve and you are setting up a near certainty that apnea will occur.  IN the OR we do this on purpose all the time ( i.e. every single general anesthetic) since we need apnea to intubate the patient. ( Otherwise the moving vocal cords may be damaged.)

              NO one on eiter side could find a single case where a physician had given propofol unmonitored at home.  Sadly, a number of physicians have attempted to self administer propofol, and like those who self administer fentanyl, they are often found dead.

              As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

              by BPARTR on Thu Nov 10, 2011 at 07:13:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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