Question of the Day: Michael Jackson Death Ruled Homicide, Should the Doctor Face Charges?

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office has ruled that Michael Jackson’s death was a homicide, meaning his doctor could face criminal charges for the powerful cocktail of drugs he used to treat Jackson’s insomnia before he died.

From Associated Press:

The homicide ruling was based on forensic tests that found the anesthetic propofol combined with at least two sedatives to kill Jackson, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the findings have not been publicly released.

Read more here.

It has become apparent that Jackson has had a dependency on painkillers since the accident that scarred his scalp when his hair caught on fire while filming a commercial for Pepsi in the 1980s. Many, from nurses to other past medical personnel who have claimed to work with the pop star, have said he regularly requested powerful medications to treat his insomnia. But these same medical professionals that fed his habit also had the knowledge to know what a deadly game was being played. So who is at fault? The addict who wanted more or the doctor who knew better?

14 thoughts on “Question of the Day: Michael Jackson Death Ruled Homicide, Should the Doctor Face Charges?

  1. Both are at fault on this one, so I don’t see the point of a homicide declaration. More like accidental or even manslaughter…

  2. Good question. What came first, chicken or egg? I agree with cdf above, it took two (or more) to tango. It must be difficult for some people to work with a celebrity like Michael and be courageous to say no to him, knowing contact with him will probably be sacrificed if he doesn’t get what he wants. ‘Cause someone else most certainly will give him what he wants.

  3. Both are at fault but legally it is going to be on the doctor, which is as it should be.cdf:Homicide is a generic term that refers to the act of killing another human. A homicide maybe a criminal or non-criminal event. I’m assuming there was no malice aforethought on the docs part so this would have to be manslaughter and not murder. Given that MJ was in a docs care and the doc had a duty to MJ, this would probably be criminally negligent manslaughter. I don’t CA law so I’m only guessing though.

  4. I think homicide might be a bit much. This seems more like gross incompetence and something that a medical board should decide rather than a district attorney. But considering the ultra high profile of this case I doubt that a D.A. would miss the opportunity to charge the doctor.

  5. If homicide is the ruling, and the Dr is seen by the DA as a suspect, then yes he should be -will be charged.Being a Dr and/or being black does not excuse him or protect him from these charges anymore than being paid ridiculous bank excuses him of good judgment and objective medical consideration of the patients health and well being."Mo money, mo problems" – Biggie Smalls

  6. If the doctor should face charges, so should every other person who stood by silent, and therefore complicit, in his drug use.

  7. The doctor has the greater responsibility and should have treated MJ in a way that would wean him from drug dependency and rely on natural remedys/techniques to prepare for sleep. He should have been more informed about the effects of the drugs and the reaction that would result from combining them, and therefore work in the best interest of the patient not his pocket. This doctor saw dollar signs and fame in connection wih working with the biggest star in the world. So, he cast aside professional wisdom for greed. He could have easily walked away with integrity. He deserves to go down. I have a thyroid problem and my doctor refuses to give me any weight loss prescriptions. Instead, she has offered to walk with me and help with a diet plan to get rid of the few extra pounds. Thats medical care not money care. RIP MJ!

  8. Of course, if a grand jury/the evidence shows he was criminally negligent, or was even reckless (in Cali that’llget you second degree murder, not manslaughter). So yes, Snob, he’s f-d. My only hope is that the brother drags down as many folk with him as he can: high priced docs around Jackson for years and in general among the rich in LA/Hollywood, and of course members of Jackson’s camp.

  9. In that case, the prosecution will probably go for the higher charge, criminal negligence. But Dr. Murray’s lawyers will get him off on manslaughter.

  10. Your blog "Should the Doctor Face Charges?" was a very interesting post. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us, your work is really appreciated.I run a related blog about Michael Jackson and was recently quoted saying…There were so many things Michael Jackson did that could be listed as firsts in the industry, but in most cases he gave and offered his support because this was an extension of who he was.Feel free to check out the full blog post on my related blogover at…,Lionel.

  11. All doctors take what’s called an Hippocratic Oath. It says in part, I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. The doctor did not act in the best interest of his patient. It doesn’t matter that the patient was a wealthy celeberity. At the least he should lose his license to practice medicine.

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