MJ wanted to SLEEP,
For a few hours, not eternally.
MJ assumed the risk of taking those drugs
We have no evidence of that.
As was pointed out at trial, Dr. Murray had not obtained any signed consent forms from MJ that indicated he understood and accepted the risks of a drug such as Propofol. So, we have no evidence of informed consent.
I argue that defendant's loyalty should have been to MJ,
his patient and his employer, not to any government
The issue is not loyalty, it is the legal, and ethical, obligations of a physician who is is licensed to practice medicine by the state
. Dr. Murray is answerable to the state for his actions, particularly since they substantially contributed to the death of his patient. His right to practice medicine is granted by the state
and it can be revoked by the state
Dr. Murray violated the ethics and standards of care of the medical profession by administering a potentially lethal drug in an inappropriate setting, without the necessary safeguards of proper monitoring and resuscitation equipment, thereby needlessly and recklessly exposing his patient to the risk of death. He then left his patient unattended, and, when he returned to find his patient in respiratory arrest, he failed to call 911 in a timely manner. And, most tellingly, in terms of his consciousness of guilt, he failed to inform either the EMT workers or the ER doctors that he had given Jackson propofol, which hampered their appraisal of the causes of MJ's condition and appropriate methods of addressing it.
This case is not about Michael Jackson, it is about the reckless and negligent actions of a licensed physician who violated his legal and ethical obligations to his patient.
The question in this case is when medical malpractice rises to the level of a criminal act.
There is no question that Dr. Murray's actions constituted medical malpractice, and not a single doctor who testified at trial, including the defense experts, could justify or excuse his negligence or his extreme errors of judgment as a physician, all of which placed his patient at significant risk of death.
Generally, malpractice is handled by civil actions for malpractice/ethical violations, or civil suits regarding wrongful death, both of which can lead to license forfeiture or monetary awards.
As they say, "Doctors bury their mistakes," and we often fail to examine whether a physician's extremely negligent or reckless actions should be considered criminal. If this were done more often, the actual rate of serious medical malpractice might decrease. Medicine is a profession which does not always police itself well, and doctors will often turn a blind eye to colleagues who are impaired by drugs or alcohol, reckless or negligent in their practice, or downright incompetent. That leaves medical consumers with the resort of malpractice or civil suits, or the state with the option of pursuing egregious behaviors as criminal.
In this case, the extreme negligence and reckless behavior of a physician does justify the criminal charges.
Just as we hold someone criminally responsible for driving a car in a reckless manner and thereby causing the death of someone, there is no reason not to hold physicians criminally liable for their reckless and extremely negligent actions that result in a patient's death.
As the prosecution revealed at trial, Dr. Murray's behavior as a physician deviated significantly from accepted and acceptable standards of medical care and thereby substantially contributed to Michael Jackson's needless and untimely death and Dr. Murray violated his legal and ethical obligations to his patient. That is what, under California law, makes him guilty of involuntary manslaughter.