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Michael Jackson

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In tandem, both ambulance, and fire truck, red lights strobed across the narrow cave-like doorway to the Tom Waddell clinic. The images flashed in the dark, like red-tinted, stop-motion animation. Inside the narrow space the six of us from needle exchange creaked zombie-like to our feet from wher

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A judge this week rejected an attempt by the state of California to temporarily ban Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.

Now the ball is in the Medical Board of California’s court. The board rightly sought to use the criminal justice system first to stop Murray from practicing.

But few reporters picked up on the fact that the criminal system isn’t the only route.

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What does it take for a doctor to lose his license in Arkansas?

Dr. Randeep Singh Mann appears to have pushed the envelope just about as far as it can go, and he is still holding an active medical license from that state.

Mann, an internist in Russellville, is accused of attacking the head of the Arkansas State Medical Board by planting a bomb in his driveway.

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Far fewer people would know Dr. Conrad Murray’s name if Michael Jackson had died in a hospital.

Not only would Murray have people with similar training around to corroborate his story, but he would have entered the secretive peer review system.

Doctors have the power to conduct “peer reviews” at hospitals that could lead to a doctor losing his privileges to perform surgeries, see patients and otherwise practice medicine there. In the best case scenario, physicians police their own and take stern – albeit secretive – action.

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Here’s where you have to pity Dr. Conrad Murray, regardless of whether you think he’s guilty.

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It was bad enough for Dr. Conrad Murray to be giving Michael Jackson propofol when he had no training administering anesthetics. His second mistake was using a dangerous drug in an improper setting: a bedroom.

Here was Murray’s surgical suite, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s report:

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Dr. Conrad Murray made his first mistake when he signed on to be Michael Jackson’s personal physician.

Perhaps the task was doomed for any doctor, but Murray was particularly ill equipped to deal with the King of Pop’s concoction of quirks and cravings. Murray was operating well outside of

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Because of the intense media swarm around Michael Jackson’s death, it might have seemed inevitable that the physician who administered the fatal dose of anesthesia to the pop singer would be charged with a crime.

But there’s a reason Dr. Conrad Murray was not formally accused of anything until nearly eight months after Jackson’s death. Doctors who screw up are rarely charged with crimes, unless they have committed insurance fraud.

Mostly, this makes sense.

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Hepatitis C tore through Las Vegas in February 2008, prompting health officials to call for 40,000 people to be tested for the disease. With estimates of more than 100 cases stemming from the outbreak and possibly thousands of infections that went unreported, it was later declared the largest Hepatitis C outbreak in US history, putting more people at risk than all previous outbreaks combined.

 

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Last week, Antidote spoke with Dr. Doris K. Cope, a seasoned anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center who is one of the voices behind the new Life Line to Modern Medicine campaign from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

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