On Monday, November 7th, Dr. Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson’s death. Jackson’s final words were “more milk”, according to Murray, pleading for him to give Jackson more of propofol, the milky white substance that rocked the singer to his death. On an interview with Good Day New York, Dr. Braverman shared his professional perspective of the ethical issues surrounding the Michael Jackson case: “Every doctor has a responsibility to treat each patient as if he were a member of his own family…that means being firm when making the right decisions.” He told Good Day NY that there are so many other options to treat insomnia, that for a doctor to resort to propofol, is downright ‘absurd.’
Propofol is an injectible drug sold under the name ‘Diprivan’, and is used as a sedative and anesthesia. It is not well known outside of the medical community, since it is primarily used in the operating room by a professional anesthesiologist. It is one of the most popular anesthesia in the OR because it works quickly – typically 20 seconds. In low-doses, it produces a distinct ‘high’, that’s been described as ‘similar to taking valium, marijuana, and ketamine – all at once’. Propofol is becoming a more and more abused by doctors, nurses, and medical staff. It can be very easy to get addicted to. Since it wears off in 5 to 7 minutes, one would need a series of 30 to 40 injections a day to get enough of the ‘high’. About 28% of those who abuse the drug will die from it (ABC World News, Aug, 2009).
Celebrities sometimes walk in the doctor’s office fixed on what they want. Even athletes find ways to work around the system to get steroids. As Dr. Braverman pointed out in the Good Day interview, ‘temptation is there all the time’, but a medical doctor has taken an oath to do what’s ethical…what’s responsible…and that’s not necessarily what the patient wants, but what the patient needs. Aside from serving justice to the Jackson family, the conviction of Conrad Murray is also a wake-up call to medical personnel involved with the abuse of propofol. As the late Michael Jackson expressed in his song, it takes ‘starting with the man in the mirror, taking a good look at himself and making that change…
by Dr. Eric Braverman and ReachOut Communications
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.