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Coroner’s Findings in Jackson Death Revealed - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com

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    Arts



    August 24, 2009, 5:05 pm

    Coroner’s Findings in Jackson Death Revealed

    By DAVE ITZKOFF

    Update | 5:38 p.m. Michael Jackson died from lethal amounts of the anesthetic propofol, according to the findings of the Los Angeles chief medical examiner that were disclosed in court documents in Houston on Monday.

    Mr. Jackson died on June 25 in Los Angeles after going into cardiac arrest. Since then, the Houston offices of his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, have been raided several times by law enforcement officials.

    In a search warrant affidavit issued by the district court of Harris County, Texas, on July 22, a Los Angeles law enforcement officer says that an autopsy performed by the office of Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, the Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner for the County of Los Angeles, “determined that, at the time of his death, toxicology analysis show that Michael Jackson had lethal amounts of propofol in his blood.”

    According to a search warrant issued by Los Angeles County on July 17, Dr. Murray said in an interview with investigators that he had been treating Mr. Jackson for insomnia for six weeks prior to the singer’s death.

    Dr. Murray said that he felt Mr. Jackson was becoming addicted to propofol and was trying to wean him off the drug. On June 22, he gave Mr. Jackson a mixture of propofol, lorazepam, the generic form of the anti-anxiety drug ativan, and midazolam, a sedative. On June 23, he gave Mr. Jackson only the lorazepam and midazolam.

    At about 1:30 a.m. on June 25, Dr. Murray said, he gave Mr. Jackson a tab of valium. At 2 a.m., he administered lorazepam, and at 3 a.m. administered midazolam. Those drugs were administered again at 5 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., but Mr. Jackson still was unable to sleep.

    At about 10:40 a.m., Dr. Murray said, he gave Mr. Jackson 25 milligrams of propofol diluted with lidocaine, at which point Mr. Jackson went to sleep. After about 10 minutes, Dr. Murray said he left to go to the bathroom, and returned to find that Mr. Jackson was no longer breathing. At this point, Mr. Jackson’s security services and 911 were called.

    According to the Los Angeles warrant, Mr. Jackson visited with several doctors to provide him with prescription medications while he used a variety of aliases, including Jack London, Mick Jackson, Frank Tyson, Omar Arnold and Josephine Baker.

    The Texas search warrant affidavit and the Los Angeles County search warrant can be found here (.pdf).

    music, Michael Jackson, pop/rock music

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    From 1 to 25 of 162 Comments

    1 2 3 ... 7 Next »
    1. 1. August 24, 2009 5:15 pm Link

      It sounds very fishy that Dr. Murray administered the drug to Michael Jackson at about 10:40 AM, just prior to his customary mealtime:

      [web.archive.org]

      “Kai Chase, Michael Jackson’s personal chef, is photographed in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Tuesday, July 28, 2009. On the day Michael Jackson died, his personal chef says her first hint of something amiss was when his doctor didn’t come downstairs to get the juices and granola he routinely brought the King of Pop for breakfast each morning.”

      — Jay
    2. 2. August 24, 2009 5:22 pm Link

      Horrible story…. and his MD lied….???
      Famous but with no real friends….

      — hetty greene
    3. 3. August 24, 2009 5:23 pm Link

      Has the Jackson family sued the coroner yet?

      — Spud
    4. 4. August 24, 2009 5:23 pm Link

      Dr. Murray goes to jail. He should have known to refuse to give MJ those drugs, even though he was demanding them. MJ would still be alive today if the doctor practiced some discretion.

      — PHall
    5. 5. August 24, 2009 5:25 pm Link

      I’m no physician, but that sure seems like a lot of benzodiazepines to be administering to one patient.

      Isn’t propofol only used as an anesthetic…? For surgery…? Only in a doctor’s office?

      — Phat Pat
    6. 6. August 24, 2009 5:28 pm Link

      Did Dr. Murray ever administer “do 2 laps, at Thriller speed, around Neverland?

      — H Canu
    7. 7. August 24, 2009 5:29 pm Link

      “After about 10 minutes, Dr. Murray said he left to go to the bathroom, and returned to find that Mr. Jackson was no longer breathing.”

      Did Dr. Murray routinely attach Jackson to monitors when using propofol? If not, why not ?

      — Jay
    8. 8. August 24, 2009 5:30 pm Link

      Propofol for insomnia?! Yeah…that should do the trick.

      This “doctor” Murray ought to be thrown in jail.

      –M.D.

      — Aaron
    9. 9. August 24, 2009 5:30 pm Link

      That just sounds so irresponsible. MJ should have been committed as a threat to himself, and the doc should have been committed and had his license revoked.

      — JOHN
    10. 10. August 24, 2009 5:31 pm Link

      Morpheus always wins in the end. C’est la morte!

      — see more clearly
    11. 11. August 24, 2009 5:32 pm Link

      Gee, I guess MJ was a living pharmacy. Looks like he killed himself by begging the quacks around him to keep him filled with an amazing amount and variety of drugs, drugs and MORE drugs. As an aside, I do believe if MJ knew how many records and videos he would sell by simply dying, he would have arranged to die more often. I won’t miss MJ in the least and frankly don’t think all this morbid attention is worth it. Hope his wonderful physician is stripped of his license to practice and spends an enormous amount of time in prison, but knowing the defense teams these folks can muster, I guess he will get off with a mighty slap on the pinkie.

      — Evad the Salyer
    12. 12. August 24, 2009 5:32 pm Link

      Man, MJ’s body was a toxic waste dump.

      — Bill in Dallas
    13. 13. August 24, 2009 5:33 pm Link

      I’m an anesthesiologist and the above cocktail of drugs really bothers me. Anytime you give drugs in the combo of benzodiazepenes (valium, ativan , and versed) in the doses given and on top of that the propofol, they have what they call a synergistic effect. All combined, leads to sustained hypoventilation (not breathing deeply and/or fast enough to meet the bodies need for oxygen and carbon dioxide removal) and subsequent possible slowing of the heart rate (thus his cardiac arrest) This just should not have happened. I don’t care what patients demand you do, you have professional standards that you follow. The fact that he was giving it in the home to begin with goes beyond the pale. However, this combo of drugs, it is not shocking this happened.

      — sara
    14. 14. August 24, 2009 5:33 pm Link

      The especially sad thing about this tragedy is that Jackson trusted his doctor to make him feel better — in this case, to sleep — and to do it safely. But the doctor wasn’t worthy of that trust.

      How many physicans around the country are doing the same thing? If there’s any good to come of this, hopefully it will serve as a lesson to doctors who prescribe unsafe doses of inappropriate medications — doctors who are motivated by the profits from all of those prescriptions they write.

      — Concerned
    15. 15. August 24, 2009 5:35 pm Link

      I wonder what the “normal” dose is for a person of Mr. Jackson’s weight?

      — Sara
    16. 16. August 24, 2009 5:36 pm Link

      This makes Keith Richards look like a girl scout. What a shame for such a talented person, or anyone, to end up trying to sleep like this. His life must have been a living hell.

      — Johnny Rotten
    17. 17. August 24, 2009 5:36 pm Link

      It’s a wonder with all of those drugs and sedatives that MJ was even able to perform in the rehearsals. Many of those drugs can have major side effects with coordination and ordinary daily functioning. They also can be extremely difficult to wean someone off of. I’ve never heard of that many drugs being prescribed for sleep disorders.

      — Dick Brown
    18. 18. August 24, 2009 5:36 pm Link

      Wow, he had had allot of different drugs already administered and still coulnd’t fall asleep.

      Basically tells you he had built up a resistance to drugs that would knock out the average person. This doctor can kiss his career goodbye if it’s not over already.

      — Al, So Cal
    19. 19. August 24, 2009 5:36 pm Link

      Um, this so-called doctor gave Michael Jackson powerful drugs every hour or half hour in one night?

      How could any professional treat insomnia like this? To give powerful drugs and then wait only half an hour to see if they work? And if not, then to keep piling them on?

      The doctor may not have intended to kill MJ, but this certainly sounds like a clear case of involuntary manslaughter.

      What’s wrong with this country that we treat insomnia like it’s phase 4 cancer? Doctors are now giving 5 different drugs for one disorder? and a relatively harmless one? We are a drugged up nation.

      — G
    20. 20. August 24, 2009 5:38 pm Link

      This was suspected all along. An intimate friend mentioned this to me, on the very first day the news of the drug use was made public.

      She said, essentially, that the drug is NEVER used outside of hospitals with sufficient gadgets and facilities for monitoring patient’s vital signs and response/reaction to the said drug.

      She compared it to administering pre-surgery narcotics/sedation without to a patient without carefully monitoring and timing such delivery etc.

      Dr. Conrad Murray is now likely, even probably would face prosecution. He should perhaps have sent Michael Jackson to a hospital, or at least ensure the presence of an oxygen tank and such other gadgets/devices

      The lesson to be learned here by physicians is that… medical and scientific… ethical standards should be upheld… all the time… regardless of the clout or celebrity status of the patient and no matter how much money is paid by such celebrity/personality, even the Michael Jackson of this world!

      It is sad story all around. MJ is dead, and this professional’s life is most probably about to be in a tailspin!

      Most sincerely,
      Paul I. Adujie
      New York, United States

      — Paul I. Adujie
    21. 21. August 24, 2009 5:41 pm Link

      Sounds like assisted suicide. MJ was so obviously unhappy for so many years.

      — CV
    22. 22. August 24, 2009 5:42 pm Link

      THEY KILLED MICHEAL!!!!!!

      — Wheatabix
    23. 23. August 24, 2009 5:46 pm Link

      Michael Jackson was a druggie that dies from an overdose. Because his family has money and is making a big stink, it is ruled a homicide.

      Money has and always will talk

      — Irene
    24. 24. August 24, 2009 5:47 pm Link

      “Josephine Baker”?!?

      Still @19. Insomnia is not relatively harmless.

      — Paul H
    25. 25. August 24, 2009 5:47 pm Link

      most people couldn’t function with this much ‘junk’ in their system. i wonder if it was guilt over his pedophilia that kept him awake – it would have taken a lot of downers to overcome that stain. oh well, he’s alseep now and he goes in the ground early next month (just as soon as he finishes those last few cosmetic surgeries he had planned). it will be good to have him out of the news and resigned to the dust bin of history.

      — shaman
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