The means a doctor used to help his patient, pop singer icon Michael Jackson, battle through extreme insomnia to fall asleep were eventually what killed him.
Because of that, a jury found the doctor guilty of involuntary manslaughter and he now faces up to four years in prison.
The doctor, who originally practiced medicine in Houston and Las Vegas before moving to work with Jackson, willingly and consistently administered a number of drugs and sedatives to help Jackson fall asleep. One of those drugs was propofol, which is usually used in hospitals during surgeries. Following his death, medical examiners determined that the singer died because of a lethal dose of propofol.
While the doctor admitted to administering Jackson a small dose of the drug on the night of his death, his defense team argued that Jackson was ultimately the one who injected a lethal dose while the doctor was not looking.
The six-week trial highlighted behavior by the doctor that was deemed reckless in the eyes of the medical community and the singer who was willing to go to dangerous lengths to fall sleep.
It is not against the law to administer propofol in a home, but lifesaving equipment must always be on the premises. Not having such equipment is considered negligent.
Jackson purposely sought out a doctor that would be willing to administer propofol to help him fall asleep. Jackson worked with his doctor for six weeks as he prepared to launch a string of comeback concerts. The doctor would administer the propofol every night and said he tried to get him off it so Jackson would not become addicted.
On the day Jackson died, the doctor administered the drug and left the singer’s side. When he returned, Jackson was not breathing. Some witnesses say the doctor frantically tried to pack up some of the incriminating equipment and made several phone calls, but did not report the death.
Source: Chicago-Sun Times, “Jury convicts Dr. Conrad Murray in death of Michael Jackson,” November 7, 2011.