An addiction specialist took the stand Wednesday at the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial. Dr. Sidney Schnoll testified that he saw no evidence the singer was addicted to painkillers or the anesthetic propofol that ultimately led to his death.
The specialist acknowledged that after Jackson interrupted his 1993 “Dangerous” tour to seek treatment for an addiction to painkillers, he was given propofol during medical procedures and Demerol for back and scalp pain.
But Schnoll said that based on his review of the case, there was not enough material to provide a definite diagnosis.
“I don’t know if he was a drug addict,” Schnoll testified. “I’ve not seen any evidence that would give me the information that would allow me to make a diagnosis of addiction.”
Schnoll testified as an expert witness in support of Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live. Katherine Jackson’s attorneys allege that AEG hired Murray and had a responsibility to monitor him. AEG says Jackson selected Murray and that AEG executives were not privy to Jackson’s medical care.
According to the Jackson family attorney, he will testify that instead of finding out what was wrong with Michael Jackson in the weeks and days leading up to his death, the singer’s doctor, Conrad Murray, instead kept him over-medicated, ultimately giving him an overdose of the powerful anesthetic that killed him.
Murray is serving jail time on an involuntary manslaughter conviction.
This manslaughter charge on Michael Jackson’s personal doctor finally sends the message that yes, overprescribing is wrong, and this could put you behind bars- with a manslaughter charge or worse. We don’t care if you are a doctor. I think the message is finally being conveyed that all doctors should do what is best for our health and our wellbeing when they practice medicine. For them to knowingly prescribe narcotics in lethal doses, while it isn’t stabbing someone- it plays a direct role in the deaths of many individuals who overdose on narcotics.
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