The most high profile medical negligence case on the global stage has concluded with the criminal trial of Dr Conrad Murray. Dr Murray was found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson. Mr Jackson died of “acute propofol intoxication” on 25 June 2009. Dr Murray now faces up to 4 years in prison.
In seeking a conviction the prosecution has argued that Dr Murray was criminally negligent in causing Mr Jackson to overdose on propofol and other sedatives. Dr Murray was being paid $150,000 per month for his services.
Propofol is an anaesthetic agent used to render persons unconscious in preparation for certain types of surgery. The drug is so potent that upon administration people counting back from 10 will often only make it to 8 or 7.
Defence argued that Mr Jackson administered the fatal dose of propofol himself.
In his testimony, the defence’s own medical witness (Dr Paul White) admitted in relation to the use of propofol in a bedroom for the treatment of insomnia that “[i]t’s something that no amount of money would convince me to accept or take on as a responsibility…”.