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'Lethal levels' of anesthetic propofol killed Michael Jackson


Michael Jackson died of "lethal levels" of the powerful anesthetic propofol, according to a search warrant affidavit unsealed today in Houston.

The court documents quote the L.A. County coroner's office as reaching that conclusion after an autopsy of the pop star.

The documents address one of the major unanswered questions surrounding Jackson's death. But they also raise new questions about how Jackson was treated, particularly in the hours before his death.

Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal doctor, told detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department that he had been treating Jackson for insomnia for about six weeks. He had been giving Jackson 50 milligrams of propofol every night using an intravenous line, according to the court records.

But Murray told detectives that he feared Jackson was forming an addiction and began trying to wean the pop star off the drugs. He lowered the dosage to 25 milligrams and mixed it with two other sedatives, lorazepam and midazolam. On June 23, two days before Jackson's death, he administered those two medications and withheld the propofol.

On the morning Jackson died, Murray tried to induce sleep without using propofol, according to the affidavit. He said he gave Jackson valium at 1:30 a.m. When that didn't work, he said, he injected lorazepam intravenously at 2 a.m. At 3 a.m., when Jackson was still awake, Murray administered midazolam.

Over the next few hours, Murray said he gave Jackson various drugs. Then at 10:40 a.m., Murray administered 25 milligrams of propofol after Jackson repeatedly demanded the drug, according to the court records.

Although Murray acknowledged to police that he administered propofol, authorities said they could find no evidence that he had purchased, ordered or obtained the medication under his medical license or Drug Enforcement Administration tracking number. However, police detectives saw about eight bottles of propofol in the house along with other vials and pills that had been prescribed to Jackson by Dr. Murray, Dr. Arnold Klein and Dr. Allan Metzger.

Other drugs that were confiscated in the search included valium, tamsulosin, lorazepam, temazepam, clonazepam, trazodone and tizanidine. They also found propofol in Murray’s medical bag. Murray told detectives that he was not the first doctor to administer the powerful anesthetic to Jackson.

At least two unidentified doctors gave Jackson propofol in Germany. Between March and April 2009, Murray said he called Las Vegas doctor David Adams at Jackson’s request to arrange for Adams to administer propofol. Murray said he was present at a cosmetologist’s office, where Adams used propofol to sedate Jackson. Since he began treating Jackson, Murray said he repeatedly asked the pop star what other physicians were treating Jackson and what drugs they were prescribing. But Jackson declined to provide the information, Murray told authorities.

Murray said he noticed injection marks on Jackson’s hands and feet. When he asked Jackson about them, the pop star told him he had been given a “cocktail” to help him. In addition to Murray, authorities subpoenaed medical records from Dr. Arnold Klein, Dr. Allan Metzger and Dr. David Adams, the affidavit states. They also asked for medical records from Dr. David Slavitt, who conducted the independent medical examination of Jackson for Anschutz Entertainment Group, Dr. Randy Rosen and nurse practitioner Cherilyn Lee. They also subpoenaed records from Dr. Mark Tadrissi, who stored medical records with Adams.

Jackson’s doctor told authorities he left Jackson’s bedside for no more than two minutes before returning to find the pop star not breathing. Jackson reportedly fell asleep at 10:40 a.m.
Murray said after monitoring Jackson for 10 minutes, he left to use the restroom. When he returned and saw Jackson wasn’t breathing at 11 a.m. He immediately began attempting to revive Jackson, administering CPR as well as a drug to reverse the effects of the sedative. But police are questioning that account. Cellphone records for the morning of June 25 show Murray made three separate phone calls for approximately 47 minutes beginning at 11:18 a.m.
He called Jackson’s personal assistant to request that they send security upstairs. After a few minutes without a response, Murray told authorities he ran downstairs to the kitchen. He asked the chef to send Jackson’s eldest son, Prince Jackson, upstairs. Murray said he continued CPR and waited for the arrival of paramedics.

Murray has already acknowledged obtaining and administering propofol to Jackson the morning that the pop star died. In an interview with police, Murray told them that he had left Jackson alone under the influence of the medication to make telephone calls to his Houston office and family members.

When he returned, he discovered Jackson was not breathing. He performed CPR, and one of Jackson’s staff members called 911. The 50-year-old pop star was rushed to UCLA Medical Center, where he was later declared dead. Much of the investigation has focused on propofol -- a drug typically administered by anesthesiologists during surgery -- and whether Murray’s decision to give it to Jackson as a sleep aid outside a hospital setting reaches a level of negligence required for an involuntary manslaughter charge.

-- Kimi Yoshino and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Conrad Murray. Credit AFP / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (213)

thank god now we can rest knowing how this loser died

thank god now we can sleep at night knowing how he died

This whole MJ thing is so TACKY. I am embarassed! The burial...(if he is buried), the kids, the estate, the money, and the LIES. Now this? ENOUGH already!!!!! When is enough enough? Homicide?? Everyone envolved for the cash should be ashamed.

As a physician who has run into Conrad Murray a few times in the hospital and has one patient who Murray saw and conned him into getting an angiogram for no reason at all, it still shocks me what Murray was doing. There is no way any ethical physician would agree do 1/100th of what what Jackson was demanding, and as a physician for more than 20 years not much surprises me anymore.

Well, is is not said facts are stranger than fiction ?

Why would this doctor give Michael such a drug??? Why? How STUPID can a a doctor be? Was he thinking of the money he would get? Well....look at him now. How smart is that?

From the time Dr. Murray noticed that MJ was not breathing, until 911 was called, 1 hour and 29 minutes elapsed. During that 1 hour and 29 minutes, Dr. Murray was on his cell phone for 47 minutes.

When the paramedics arrived, Dr. Murray did not tell them he had administered Propofol to MJ. He only told them about 1 of the drugs he administered.

This seems much worse than manslaughter to me.

For those who think MJ brought this on himself by requesting the Propofol, let me tell you how the medical profession sees it: No matter how much an addict, begs, pleads, bribes, threatens, or pressures you to give them their drugs of choice, THE DOCTOR MUST SAY NO. PERIOD.

It is beyond the pale for a doctor to administer Propofol in the home even one time, but Dr. Murray did it every night for 6 weeks!

I disagree with the poster who says MJ's death was 99.9% preventable. Had that doctor not given him the Meds MJ would have just gone elsewhere until he found what he wanted.
The difference between MJ and a "junkie" is just the several billion MJ had. With that much money the drug dealers came to him and even shot him up. Or he could visit a doctor and have his bully boys insist that he be given narcotics. Blame the doctors, blame his father, blame his friends, we all no that MJ is blameless right?
You play, you pay.


I am a trauma surgeon. Propofol is only used in the hospital on patients that are carefully monitored, in an OR or ICU and usually by a trained anesthesiologist or intensivist. Even in these ideal conditions, this drug is powerful, and can be extremely dangerous. For Dr. Murray and others to give Michael Jackson this drug in his home most certainly displays a high level of negligence and I would be surprised if the good doctor is not charged with manslaughter, as he well should be. At the very least, this man should be stripped of his license and never allowed to harm another human being under it's auspices again.

Murray will be the lone wolf to be prosecuted the doctors before him will walk away Scot free

If MJ was such a drug addict as the media is reporting him to be, how did he pass his 5 hour insurance physical for AEG in Feb/March? why did Nurse Cherilyn Lee say she drew blood and saw no sign of addiction in his lab work and no needle tracks? why did Nurse Lee say she tried hard to convince the cops that MJ was not an addict? why do so many of the people who were close to MJ for years say they never saw any sign of addiction? why did Dr. Klein say he saw no sign of addiction & no needle tracks?

This is the sad state of affairs. Anybody can find a doctor to do whatever as long as you pay him/her. You may have to search a bit, but in celebrity circles I think people know where to go just like more common drug seekers will find out which doctors are writing prescriptions for money without proper indications and monitoring. The question is not as much about what they will do with Murray and everyone else crazy enough to administer Diprivan as a sleep aid. What will they do about this subset of doctors with no scruples or conscience ? You can say Jackson brought this on himself but the only way he should have been able to do this is buy Diprivan on the street and inject it himself. Okay law and regulatory authoritities the ball is in your court.

Like Warren Zevon's greatest hits album titled "I'll sleep when I'm dead". He's finally going to get his rest! lol

Its sad that he is gone, but this really doesn't come as much of a surprise. Even if MJ was addicted, people encouraged it and allowed it. Sad.

I had sleeping problems more than 25 years ago.The worst thing to a human being is when he can not sleep anymore as I did .Than ks God I found this medicament: Vistaril 25 mg, is easy to get a prescripcion,I have 2 pills at night and I sleep ; EXCELLENT!!!! I tried all other pills without result and the reason I am posting this is for the people with sleeping problems check your doctor and try.I pray for all the people with sleeping problems because I know what is it? Very Sorry about Michael,people with a large amount of energy tends to have sleeping problems without this pill I will be awake forever.Thanks God for find this relaxed non dangerous medicament.

Does administering propofol as a sleep aid outside a hospital setting reach a level of negligence required for an involuntary manslaughter charge?
Hmm, let me ponder...

This doctor did not try to help him with his addiction? Get real. He has just been busted doing something illegal so he wants to say he was trying to help Michael. You don't help an addict by giving them what they want. Yes, Michael needed help. That's true. But I understand why he probably didn't go seek professional help...you can't trust them especially if you're a celebrity. Everyone wants to sell you out for a $. It's so sad. Also, why was this doctor giving him other addictive medication...he gave Jackson valium, lorazepam, midazolam and the article said "various drugs" before giving him propofol! What the french!! Regardless of who Michael Jackson was, IF he was acting in Michael's best interest (and not his own..$$) he should've told him NO! Who was the doctor and who was the patient. Again, I agree Michael should've got some help...then again, thanks to our wonderful tabloid media who wants to smell the least little fart a celebrity like Michael passes, He didn't go. Maybe he was embarrassed, scared he'd lose his children and his children would know about it, having something negative about him "again" in the media or just simply was in denial he had a drug problem. Most celebrities don't get the help they need because of the intrusive media and the cost it will have on their career. When are we going to make it okay for them to do so without it being splattered all over the news!!! We need to take a close look at ourselves as a society...before we lose another great entertainer...And just a little note: who stood the most to gain from Michael dying? two words come to mind...AEG & Sony! enough said.

I am not a doctor, but I have friend who is an M.D. and among other specialties is an expert in anesthesiology. Propofol is not a sleep aid. Using it does not provide the restorative functions for the body that natural sleep does. So all these doctors did was encourage a drug addiction and cause Jackson to be constantly tired so he needed drugs to bring him up and down. Eventually, he would die as his body gave out. What kind of doctor would do this who takes the Hippocratic Oath?

Though you don't push the plunger in the syringe, when you allow others to do it to you, you are still a pathetic, dissolute addict.

A fool and his life are soon parted.

This "doctor" lacked the skills to resuscitate MJ from the drugs he was giving him. Moreover, if he did have those skills he would have realized his equipment was totally inadequate. Finally, he was foolish because he didn't comprehend his own ignorance. This "doctor" killed MJ through criminal stupidity, and while the label "negligent homicide" certainly applies in this case, I'd personally think it sufficient that he never practice in the same profession as me.

MJ was an out-and-out drug addict and he had the money to pay the doctors to get as much of whatever drugs he wanted. Maybe in part because of his celebrity, these doctors, especially Connie Murray, never said no to him, even though they knew this was no way for any normal person to live their life. I sometimes wonder if Dr. Murray tried to convince MJ to quit taking all these drugs and MJ, who was so deep into his drug addiction, basically told him either give me the drugs I want or you're fired. And Dr. Murray, deep in debt and in need of a big payday, went along even though he knew it was dangerous.

I have chronic pain. It keeps me awake sometimes. I take tizanidine, ambien, daypro, percocet, and wear a fentanyl patch...my doctor does NOT give me all the meds I WANT, I still have pain. But I understand he gives me all he CAN and not damage me. I'm sure there is damage, but that is the price we pay for comfort. I don't think I'd ever take injectibles, they just work too fast, not at home anyway. Michael was a desperate man, desperate for rest and pain relief. I can totally understand, but it wasn't worth children losing their only parent. That makes me mad a bit at Michael, for letting that happen. Mad at Dr. for enabling it too!

As if there were any question of malpractice! We don't even give that drug in a hospital setting without advanced monitoring. And lifesaving equipment must be nearby. And you don't leave anyone's side when under anesthesia. Propofol as a sleeping aid? Please. At any rate, I'm not surprised the man had problems sleeping. What could stop all the voices in his head?

Everyone isn't supposed to have a long life. Sadly, Michael's ended at age 50. Though his life was short, it was filled with enough music, magic and ingenuity to live a thousand lives. He did more in those 50 years than most people do in 70 or more. I hate that drugs are what claimed his life, but apparently, it was meant to be. Nothing can change that and nothing will change the fact that he was the GREATEST entertainer that ever lived!!!! Long live the King!

How sad that we lost him. Will he ever know how much we love him.....
Doctors are greedy for money. But don't they give an oath before they pass out as Medical personal??? Also that reporter should be hung. (Basheer..rrr)
I still cant get over Michael's death.
Michael you were a GOD'S GIFT TO THE MANKIND.

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