Jackson's doc guilty: good long term for law and docs, or bad?

So Conrad Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Is this a good thing for society at large, or bad? The idea being that doctors now have to fear criminal charges if they fuck up, not just loss of license or lawsuits.

So will this have far-reaching implications at all, and will they be good or bad?

Does this break any new ground legally? I don’t think it does. Either way it sounds like what Murray was doing was completely stupid and unsafe, and probably not something he would have been doing if he’d been attending regular patients instead of going above and beyond for a rich and famous patient who was going to pay him a lot of money. So if doctors are discouraged from doing that kind of thing, I don’t see the harm.

The judge is discussing bail and characterizing the conviction as one involving “homicide” - since when is “involuntary manslaughter” = “homicide”?

It’s homicide because somebody was killed. It’s not murder, but involuntary manslaughter is a type of homicide.

I think always. Manslaughter is a class of Homicide, Involuntary Manslaughter is a class of Manslaughter.

Edit: Wikipedia seems to agree with me.

The Napoleonic Wars spanned several continents, multiple decades, tens of countries, created the system of diplomacy and power that would persist for the next century, led to the deaths of millions and involved some of the most famous figures in history.

The trial of Conrad Murry involved a doctor for a pop star, the CA state prosecutor, some other lawyers and a judge and jury and lasted a month.

And yet their wikipedia articles are the same length. I tried to read the latter but gave up after about 8 paragraphs. Anyone mind giving a pithy summary of what he was found guilty of. I’m curious, but not curious enough to spend the next hour reading about it on wikipedia.

Wikipedia has a policy on the size of articles: if it didn’t, the Napoleonic Wars article would be much longer. Instead of having a very long article, it provides links to articles on specific aspects of the wars, including a hidden list near the bottom between “Napoleonic Wars” and “Hundred Days”, that you can see by clicking on “Show”. Wikipedia may give too much details about notorious contemporary events, but it doesn’t do that at the expense of coverage of important historical events.

And now back to your regularly scheduled program …

The Doctor (Murray) was a greedy fool for agreeing to give up his practice for Jackson.

I do think Jackson’s long use of propofol should have been considered. Reports say it goes back to his mid 1990’s World tour. He had hired several people in the past to administer this stuff. They all get off scot-free?

Course Murray is the dumb ass that killed the drug addicted, alleged pedophile, pop star.
I grudgingly admit he deserves some punishment. One more victim of the Jackson freak show. Murray was sucked in by his own greed and incompetence.

I do think US law puts too much responsibility on doctors when their patients decide to abuse the drugs they’ve prescribed for them (and healthcare for everyone suffers as a result of this in a bunch of ways).

That said, based on the facts I’ve heard about this case this doesn’t not seem like an unreasonable prosecution. Its seems like he was taking advantage of very vulnerable disturbed person in a way that iultimately led to his death.

Murray didn’t write Jackson prescriptins for buckets of pills, which Jackson then abused. He administered the drugs himself. And he wasn’t giving Jackson the normal uppers, downers and sidewaysers. He was giving him anaesthesia.

I wonder what the chances are for Appeal? It is unusual to criminally prosecute a doctor for incompetence. I’ll be interested in hearing the experts opinions on the appeal chances.

I never want to see Murray practice medicine again. Jail time? Doesn’t really matter to me. I’m pretty ambivalent about it. Jackson had the money to buy what he wanted. If Murray turned him down then another, more competent doctor would be making the millions.

When drugs are involved I didn’t think that was the case. Its unusual to prosecute in simple incompetence, but in cases where there is a suspicion that the doctor knows the drugs he prescribed are being abused its fairly common for him to face criminal charges.

Though as others have pointed out this went way beyond a doctor prescribing drugs to an addict. Again personally I don’t think this prosecution is uncalled for.

I just saw the verdict on TV. Why did they handcuff Dr. Murray?
I mean, the guy is an MD…and hardly a threat to society.
You would think they would have the dignity to let him walk out without handcuffs.

The judge’s remarks about the issue of bail vs. remand were ridiculous. Because his crime involved the death of a human being, it automatically means that Murray represents a threat to society if allowed to remain free for a couple of extra weeks between today and sentencing? Oh please…

It is easier to treat all convicted the same than to spend six months arguing which ones are and are not a danger, and everyone would want a hearing. For the safety of the officers handling the convicted, it is simpler to just cuff 'em all on the guilty verdict.

As for Dr. Murray in particular, the jury let him off easy if its just involuntary manslaughter. I don’t know if they could convicted him of murder, but from what I’ve heard about profonal, it can be a very dangerous drug if not supervised correctly, which is apparently what happened.

This bears repeating. Propofol is an anesthetic. It can, and does, have effects far beyond those of inducing “sleep” (with “medically induced coma” being a more accurate description).

Docs spend at least five years after medical school training to be anesthetists. Murray was a trained cardiologist. Nothing to do with anesthesia.

Perhaps the most basic tenet of administering anesthesia is that the patient be monitored (heart, lung) continuously while under its effect. The only principle possibly more basic than that is that a) life preserving/resuscitation equipment must be on hand and that b) physicians or other health professionals with advanced training in resuscitation be present as well. None of that was the case when Murray dabbled in giving anesthesia, intravenously at that, to Jackson. It beggars belief.

Until you consider the fact that he was being paid $150,000 a month. Then it becomes a little more believable.

I am not sure he actually got paid because Jackson died before signing the contract with Murray. Which sort of makes you wonder about karma.

I think it’s a good thing. I have no problem believing that Jackson begged and pleaded with and threatened to fire Murray if he didn’t keep upping the dosages and he probably would have fired him if he hadn’t, but none of these things removed or relieved Murray of the legal right, the full opportunity, and the ethical obligation to refuse Jackson.

People with no medical training at all could look at Michael Jackson in his last couple of years and tell he was in terrible health: he was a skeleton, he seemed increasingly incoherent in his interviews, and you didn’t have to be the world’s foremost personal trainer to know MJ wasn’t going to be in shape for dozens of live performances in the time allotted. Had Murray cared about anything beyond the $150k per month he’d have walked out and returned to private practice or any other job before helping him self destruct further. Maybe the verdict will warn other “Dr. Nick” wannabes.

I must be the only one who doesn’t understand this circus. It’s as if people are always trying to look for someone to blame. If anyone should be blamed, it’s the guy who was dumb enough to OD on pills. I find verdicts like this ridiculous, since it holds doctors accountable for what someone does to themselves.