Expert: Jackson likely addicted to pain medicine

Medical records showed that Michael Jackson developed an addiction to a powerful pain medicine in the months before his death, an expert testifying for the doctor charged in the singer’s death told jurors on Thursday.

Dr. Robert Waldman said Jackson was receiving “above-average doses” of the painkiller Demerol.

“I believe there is evidence that he was dependent on Demerol, possibly,” Waldman said, adding he thinks Jackson had an addiction to opioids by May 2009, the month before his death.

Jackson’s personal doctor, Dr Conrad Murray, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. His lawyers argue that Jackson gave himself a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol, which they say he was taking as a sleep aid.

Waldman said a symptom of Demerol withdrawal is insomnia. Jackson complained that he couldn’t sleep as he prepared for a series of comeback concerts.

Murray’s lawyers have suggested Jackson was undergoing withdrawal from Demerol before his death. None of the drug was found in the singer’s system when he died.

But authorities found propofol throughout Jackson’s body during an autopsy.

Jackson received Demerol shots from his longtime dermatologist, Dr Arnold Klein, who has not been accused of wrongdoing and will not be called as a witness.

Murray’s attorneys have yet to show evidence of how their theory that Jackson gave himself a fatal dose would have been possible. A key expert said he ruled it out completely, saying the more likely scenario was that Murray gave Jackson a much higher dose than he has acknowledged.

Prosecutors have portrayed Murray as a reckless physician who repeatedly broke the rules by giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid. But jurors heard a different description of the doctor on Wednesday.

Several of the character witnesses called described Murray as the best doctor they had ever seen and highlighted his skills at repairing their hearts with stents and other procedures.

“I’m alive today because of that man,” said Andrew Guest. “That man sitting there is the best doctor I’ve ever seen.”
A prosecutor noted none of them were treated for sleep issues.

Defence attorneys have told Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor they expect their case to conclude Thursday. Pastor has said if that happens, closing arguments would occur next week. — Sapa-AP

Staff Reporter
Guest Author
Advertisting

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

Despite tweet, Zuma keeps silent about providing his taxpayer information

The Public Protector has still not received confirmation from former president Jacob Zuma that she may access his tax records —...

Ahead of WEF, Mboweni will have to assure investors that...

The finance minister says despite the difficult fiscal environment, structural reforms are under way to put SA on a new growth path
Advertising

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.