Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Trial Watch...

By now it is no secret that I enjoy a good true crime show or a juicy televised trial. I must remember to thank the Los Angeles Superior Court for timing the Conrad Murray trial during the weeks I would be out of town. With no television at the "star house" there is at least a streaming real life drama for me to watch before going to the theatre. And watch it I do. Because of the time change for the East coast I am able to sleep a little longer and still get up for the morning session. Except for the sessions held when I had to be on stage, I think I have seen the entire trial.
There are a few observations that I have made so far. I really don't have an opinion on Conrad Murray's guilt or innocence. I think ultimately Dr. Murray was hired at $150,000.00 a month to be a personal prescription drug dealer to Michael Jackson. If Michael Jackson needed Propafal to get through the tour, then it was just a cost of doing business for AEG Live. Besides I am sure if Dr. Murray would have refused the unorthodox treatment another Doctor ,ready to comply, would be only a phone call away. Most everyone around Michael Jackson wanted to get him on stage to sing and dance like a trained animal act, or more like a through bred race horse. Anything is fair game to get the horse to run. Perhaps there should be co defendants in this trial. Going all the way back to Joe Jackson and Barry Gordy.
It is sad to me that Michael Jackson was such a cash cow to those living off him. So much so, they would let him do anything to keep the dollars flowing. This was true his entire life, from his father to the record label to the body guards that were there to protect him. Everyone wanted him to keep doing tours and making hit records and anything was fair game to keep that well from running dry. Drugs, cosmetic surgery, kids, amusement park rides, oxygen chambers and a chimp named Bubbles.... it seemed like everyone around him turned a blind eye to anything that kept him happy. Since he was currently deep in debt the axe above his neck was an even greater incentive to keep the money stream flowing. It does seem odd to me that a man who was 400 million dollars in debt lived like a Prince of Bruni in Holmby Hills, California. For those who don't live in LA the people of Holmby Hills have so much money they look down on Beverly Hills as a ghetto.
The defense in the Murray trial will try to establish that Michael ingested and or injected the over dose of Larazapam and Propafal that killed him while Murray was out of the room. According to the defense the good Doctor was just trying to help the poor man sleep. We know that Michael was addicted to Dimeral and one of the side effects of that addiction is a sever interruption of the addict's sleep cycle. Propafal is not a sleeping aid, it just induces coma for surgery. The wear and tare on the body from being "out" on that drug is even worse than not sleeping. For many reasons a Doctor should have known what the drug's affects were and refused to assist in the ultimate destruction of a personal patient. He should have had the proper hospital equipment to administer the drug, and maybe he should not have left his high profile patient alone to call one of his three girl friends on his Iphone. If Jackson did administer the drugs himself the Doctor still seems to be culpable for leaving the room.
The main thing about the trial is Murray's face. He looks so guilty with a scowl that never leaves even for his close up. I wouldn't expect a man to be grinning ear to ear during such a serious situation, but don't scowl like LT. Warf from Star Trek. There is a middle ground between a grin and a look of doom. He should just look neutral. To me his own demeanor is playing right into the case of the prosecution. He looks like a guilty villian.
After the Casey Anthony not guilty verdict, I am done trying to second guess the 12 people who have the duty. I just think that however the trial goes, there was a major crime here. Not totally the Doctor's fault but a crime shared by every person that saw Michael Jackson as a commercial object instead of a man crying for help.
The defense will take over soon. Look for them to try to position Dr. Murray as the odd man out in a household of Islamic body guards and personal assistants. Each one was responsible in their own silence and guilty of not protecting the man they were hired to protect. It is easy to place blame on the person who was the last person there when the music stopped.
As you were,

1 comment:

Bob Baker said...


A very perceptive commentary on the relationship between celebrities and their physicians. Having trained in some fairly prestigious New York hospitals, I saw how MD's kowtowed to celebrity patients' demands. I guess the doc hopes that a little of the celebrity rubs off on him or her. However, when you give up your practice, as Dr. Murray did, to make $150 K per month taking care of one patient, you cannot be an effective physician because you can't say "no," or else you're out of a job and a practice.

In our own practice we used to take care of a well-known sports announcer. When he called, the staff jumped. Everyone was proud of the fact that he got his care here. Not being a huge sports fan, I wasn't that impressed. Which is why I guess he never got me good Knicks tickets.

Bob Baker (M.D.)