Source: Drug contributed to Jackson's death

July 28, 2009 4:34:06 AM PDT
It's been a little over a month since Michael Jackson died and now the Associated Press is quoting an anonymous source in reporting his personal doctor, who is from Houston, gave Jackson a powerful drug that authorities believe killed him. [READ IT: Michael Jackson's 2002 will]
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That drug Propofol, commonly known as Diprivan, shouldn't have been found outside a hospital. It's been reported Dr. Conrad Murray, who has a clinic here in Houston, was with Jackson when he died.

ABC News has confirmed that the drug Propofol is connected to Jackson's death and that the final report will list the drug as a contributing factor, given that other drugs were also in the singer's system when he collapsed and died.

Additionally, an unnamed source familiar with the Michael Jackson death investigation told the AP that Dr. Murray was the one who administered the Propofol.

With the AP report, the microscope is focusing more intently on Dr. Murray and the assertion that he gave Jackson the drug that lead to his death.

Dr. Murray's attorney Ed Chernoff posted this comment on his firm's website regarding the AP report, "It's a waste of time responding to all these timed 'leaks' from 'anonymous' sources. I feel like a horse swatting flies. Everyone needs to take a breath and wait for these long delayed toxicology results. I have no doubt they want to make a case - for goodness sakes, its Michael Jackson!"

However, if the contention is true, then KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy said the potential consequences are serious.

"Oh, he's in serious trouble because most doctors are not going to give drugs like this," said Androphy.

We talked to Dr. Richard Bradley with UT Emergency Medicine earlier this month. He told us about the strength of Propofol, aka Diprivan.

"Diprivan is not a painkiller. It's a sedative. It puts you to sleep. And too much of it can kill you," said Dr. Bradley. "Using Diprivan as a sleeping aid is just crazy. It's about as crazy as if I came over to your house and took out your appendix on your kitchen table. It's just not done."

While that may be the prevailing wisdom within the medical community, Androphy also said it's not necessarily criminal, and he expects that if it comes to it, Dr. Murray's attorneys will make that a strong argument.

"Let's not forget that the law builds into a doctor's medical opinion a lot of discretion, so just because we think it's bizarre to do it and you shouldn't do it, does not make the doctor responsible criminally or civilly," said Androphy.

Last week, authorities from Houston and Los Angeles raided Dr. Murray's Houston practice, confiscating a variety of items in what was termed a manslaughter investigation.

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