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Michael Jackson's doctor denies manslaughter charge - will anything be done?

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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It is very much in the public domain the charges that have been brought against medical professional, GP Dr Murray, in relation to the singer's death on 25 June last year.  


Dr Murray has been charged with the act of involuntary manslaughter, as the singer's death was ruled as homicide, mainly caused by the anaesthetic Propofol. A cocktail of drugs, to include sedatives midazolam and diazepam, the painkiller lidocaine and the stimulant ephedrine, were also detected in Jackson's body, a Coroner confirmed.


Dr Murray has denied the charge, and in the mean time is allowed to continue to practice medicine (although he cannot use certain drugs, namely anaesthetic agents and specifically Propofol).   


Jackson hired the physician to prepare for his come back tour, and on a salary of £96,000 a month in May 2009.


Not only is this a tragic story, which has devastated millions across the world; the sad news of Jackson's death is heightened by the awful fact that investigations are continuing to confirm whether this was a potentially avoidable death, arising out of another high profile act of alleged clinical negligence. The circumstances surrounding Jackson's death again bring the professional acts of health professionals into the limelight, and more so than ever when it is suspected that the negligent acts of a GP may have led to the death of one of the world's greatest ever pop stars.


As a clinical negligence solicitor I believe the tragedy surrounding the singer's death, raises the profile and the importance of both criminal and civil consequences arising out of medical professional negligence. Clearly circumstances such as this, confirm the acts of health professionals are becoming heavily regulated; where alleged negligent acts can not only lead to very serious criminal charges, in addition compensation can flow from the same, thereby producing very substantial damages for the injured or their families.  


As this story continues to hit the headlines over the coming months, no doubt millions will wait to see just what will be done in relation to the circumstances arising out of this legend's death.


By clinical negligence solicitor, Sonia Marshall