Judge Rules Michael Jackson's Doctor Can Keep Medical License

A judge in Los Angeles today ruled Dr. Conrad Murray, accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, can keep his California medical license. The California Medical Board had asked the court to revoke it, saying he was a public threat. Murray's lawyers pointed out no evidence has yet been presented in court. Today, the judge hearing the request said the matter had previously been ruled on by another judge and he had no authority to rule differently.

The preliminary hearing is now set for August 23. Dr. Murray practices in Nevada and Texas. ABC News reports:

Murray gained a much-needed dose of good press last month when helped revive a woman who became unconscious on a US Airways flight from Houston to Phoenix.

June 25 will be the first anniversary of Jackson's death.

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    As he should. (none / 0) (#1)
    by JamesTX on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 12:38:53 AM EST
    Doctors should give patients what they want if they are fully informed of risks. We have the right to our treatments of choice, rather than having our health defined for us by the government.

    I don't think (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:26:14 AM EST
    A doctor refusing to give a patient a prescription is "health defined by the government".

    It's worse than that... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:44:12 AM EST
    it's health, life, and the pursuit of happiness defined by the government...Nanny State 101 sh&t.

    Uh, no (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:53:00 AM EST
    It's a doctor, in this case, who against his own professional judgment, medical ethics, oh, and science / best practices, gave prescription drugs to a patient.  The state is looking into whether because of those violations, he committed a crime.  But this is not about the state allowing Michael Jackson to have to the freedom to take whatever drugs he wanted.

    What the issue boils down to is... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:01:09 AM EST
    the government thinks we're children and can't make our own medicinal/medical decisions, which leads to people like Michael Jackson playing games to live as they see fit, which puts docs in a tight spot to choose between their patients wishes and the government's stupid rules.

    Well (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:18:25 AM EST
    Again - it's also called "medical ethics".  Doctors take an oath to "First, do no harm".  If a doctor knows giving a patient a drug (that is regulated for a reason) and giving more than what is used in surgery, will be harmful (as science has proven), then it is incumbent on the doctor to not prescribe that.  Since Michael Jackson did not go to medical school or pharmacy school, we can presume that Dr. Conrad knew more about this subject than MJ.

    The only tight spot the doctor was in was that he didn't want to lose access to MJ and his world, if he refused to give the prescriptions that MJ wanted.  That's it - this isn't a tough call for the doctor to make.  These were not lifesaving experimental drugs - these were drugs supposedly used to help MJ sleep.


    All the more reason.. (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:29:38 AM EST
    to get docs outta the permission slip for drugs business...it clouds medical ethics.  Let the pharmacists sell drugs and doctors sell medical advice and treatment, not permission slips....with the individual or proxy deciding whether to follow the advice/treatment plan or do it their own way.  

    Like when a doctor advised me to take potassium pills, but I chose bananas instead.  Lucky for me bananas are not a controlled substance:)


    I agree. (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 12:09:59 PM EST
    Back in the day I traveled for months through South and Central America and Mexico and before I left the US I decided to get some imodium just in case it was necessary due to the food and water in these other countries. However, imodium was prescription-only, back then.

    My first stop in Caracas was a drug store where the woman behind the counter happily sold me as much imodium as I wanted, after which she gave another customer some kind of a shot for the flu.

    Oddly enough, there were no Venezuelans lying in the streets dying from overdoses of immodium and/or flu shots.

    Of course I realize you can easily buy imodium OTC in the US now, but the point remains.


    Patent life (none / 0) (#20)
    by Untold Story on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 12:59:17 PM EST
    US tends to have longer patent lives than other countries.  Just a few years ago, Claritin was prescription only here and OTC in all other countries.

    Seems to me like Schering-Plough would sell more Claritan via OTC than if you needed a prescription for it...

    Market Competition (none / 0) (#28)
    by Untold Story on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 05:03:52 PM EST
    drives down prices not protected by patents.

    For instance at this time, Nexium is still under patent.  It is hugely expensive compared to Prilosac (OTC) - however, Prilosac only contains the isomer of 20 mg Nexium since Nexium has patent protection.


    My suggestion to sell OTC (none / 0) (#33)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 12:14:53 PM EST
    instead of solely through MD's is regardless of whether the drug is under patent or not.

    A friend of mine... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 01:23:25 PM EST
    was traveling in a non-permission slip country recently...his wife forgot her insulin.  They were panicked until they realized ya didn't need a script where they were at.  They called their doc in the US, who gave them the brand name of the insulin she uses, and they were good to go.

    Could it lead to more od's and medication errors?  Sure...its possible. But its not like we have a shortage of those things under the permission slip system, as well as a slew of unintended problems and ethical issues.


    Although I imagine the diabetic woman (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 01:27:11 PM EST
    was happy to rely on her U.S. physician to determine whether she needed insulin, and if so, how much and how often.  

    Oh yeah... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 01:34:29 PM EST
    A doctor's exam and reco is most definitely highly recommended before you start taking anything...I just don't think it should be a crime to go it on your own, or have to go through the charade of finding a friendly doctor for the permission slip to get what you want.

    Not all drugs are created equal! (none / 0) (#27)
    by Untold Story on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:51:38 PM EST
    Drugs administered (none / 0) (#26)
    by Untold Story on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 04:50:36 PM EST
    were administered outside a hospital setting where emergency life saving remedies would have been immediately available.  

    In CA, assisted suicide is not yet legal. (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 11:09:04 AM EST
    Keept the hoplelessly sick and dying... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 11:31:37 AM EST
    paying co-pays for pain-killer permission slips...I'm tellin' ya its a r-a-c-k-e-t.

    Actually many many Doctors are (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 09:03:01 AM EST
    scared to prescribe some drugs because they fear the "Dr. Feelgood" label and the Feds investigating them.

    When my 90 plus year old mother was on her death bed with a broken hip I had to almost fight to get her some pain killers even though everyone agreed they wouldn't harm her.

    That's not medicine.


    Amen Jim... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:03:35 AM EST
    nice to agree with my pal:)

    Why not just let us or our assigned proxies sign a waiver if the state or doc doesn't agree with our decisions?  That should absolve them of any malpractice or liability.  

    Bueracracy is literally causing unnecessary pain and suffering in some cases...unless you've got cash or fame like Michael Jackson and can get whatever you want.


    To be fair it wasn't the Doc (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:12:01 AM EST
    he agreed that it wouldn't hurt her... It was the BS of fighting through all the levels of bureaucracy to find one at 10PM who would listen...and said just do it.

    Doc's are human... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 10:22:33 AM EST
    hence they are capable of compassion...beuracracy ties their hands and puts them in the tough spot I'm on about....serving the wishes and/or needs of their patients or following the stupid rules.

    I think you may be right (none / 0) (#29)
    by JamesTX on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 01:05:17 AM EST
    about this:

    A doctor refusing to give a patient a prescription is "health defined by the government".

    But a doctor being prosecuted for doing so is.


    YEs (none / 0) (#32)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10:10:48 AM EST
    Because if a doctor knows he is prescribing and/or administering a drug that, in amounts not generally used, can lead to harmful circumstances - such as death, than that doctor is negligent or grossly negligent.  Someone with specialized knowledge is held to a higher standard than everybody else and in certain circumstances, then the doctor can be criminally negligent.

    Why shouldn't doctors be held to a higher standard and be responsible?  It's the same thing if you are allergic to penicillin, the doctor knows this, and gives you penicillin anyway and you die.  Are you saying the doctor shouldn't be held responsible for that?


    I completely (none / 0) (#34)
    by JamesTX on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 06:28:51 PM EST
    understand the special relationship and the special duties of the professional. The point is that the patient has the final call, with full informed consent. I am not saying there is anything that should force the doctor to do it. It is just that the doctor should not be prosecuted if treatment risks were fully understood and chosen freely by the patient. Of course, there are all sorts of circumstances where it would be negligence, such as if the person is actually addicted to the substance and is therefore being "coerced" by the addiction. Freely chosen, in all three capacities (capacity to understand, provision of information, and freedom from coercion), though ... and I say it should be acceptable (not required).

    Easy James... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 08:39:03 AM EST
    you trying to rain on the prescription racket with that crazy freedom/personal responsibility talk? Those med school loans are killer man:)

    The prescription (none / 0) (#30)
    by JamesTX on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 01:11:19 AM EST
    racket and all the things found with it are destroying us. There is some kind of timing factor which causes the model to simply not work. And then there is the patent problem, so the drugs we get at outrageous profits from the big pharma companies are such a small part of what is actually possible and effective. As the baby boomers age, they are going to need things which actually make them feel better, not things which solve some abstract biochemical equation that counts as success in the medical model.

    Judge's ruling is "for now." Looks like (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 01:36:43 AM EST
    CA Medical Bd. requested suspension of the physician's CA medical license as a condition of bail.  Court sd. Medical Bd. may appeal and/or file administrative action against the physician regarding his CA license.  LAT

    High Prices? (none / 0) (#31)
    by ding7777 on Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 07:17:38 AM EST
    This is from a 2004 New Yorker article:

    drugs still under patent protection are anywhere from twenty-five to forty per cent more expensive in the United States than in places like England, France, and Canada. Generic drugs are another story. Because there are so many companies in the United States that step in to make drugs once their patents expire, and because the price competition among those firms is so fierce, generic drugs here are among the cheapest in the world. And, according to Danzon and Furukawa's analysis, when prescription drugs are converted to over-the-counter status no other country even comes close to having prices as low as the United States.