Michael Jackson and Iatrogenesis (Updated)–Updated (August 24)



Music icon Michael Jackson died after he was given an injection of Propofol.  Thus, the singer joins Heath Ledger and Anna Nicole Smith in a list of celebrities recently killed by the medical profession (called “Iatrogenesis“).

Update:  It was thought at first that Demerol was the killer, but Edward Chernhoff, the lawyer for the Jackson’s cardiac physician, Conrad Murray, says that Jackson had not prescribed or given Jackson the drugs Demerol or Oxycontin (source AP):

Chernoff says Murray suggested to Jackson’s family that an autopsy be performed. He adds that the doctor did not prescribe or give Jackson the drugs Demerol or Oxycontin. The lawyer says any drugs Murray prescribed were given in response to a specific complaint from the 50-year-old entertainer.

This is not a denial that Demerol had been taken or that it was the cause of cardiac arrest.  This says specifically that Dr. Murray himself did not prescribe or administer the drug.  This is a very carefully worded statement.  Dr. Murray, however, admits prescribing more than one than drug in response to Jackson’s complaint.

Iatrogenic death from prescription drugs is not necessarily the fault of only one physician’s prescriptions but can be a negligant cocktail provided by more than single doctor.  That’s why it is standard procedure when a patient visits a physician for him or her to declare what other prescriptions are being taken.

[MSNBC confirms that Dr. Murray administered several medications of valium, larazepam, midazolam, “several other drugs”, and finally 25 mg of propofol over a 9 hour period.]