Defense Drops Claim That Michael Jackson Swallowed Lethal Drug Dose

Doctors attack Conrad Murray for leaving the King of Pop unattended while drugged

October 13, 2011 8:35 AM ET
'Michael Jackson'
Dr. Christopher Rogers, deputy medical examiner at the Los Angeles Coroner's Office, left, spreads out pills from a prescription bottle of Lorazepam presented by defense attorney J. Michael Flanagan
Beck-Pool/Getty Images

The defense for Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician on trial for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, has dropped its claim that the singer swallowed a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol. Murray's lawyers had previously insisted that Jackson had self-administered the sedative that caused his death, but have since backed away from this claim after the doctor who performed the King of Pop's autopsy made it clear that such a thing would be impossible in the window of time Murray left the singer unattended.

In testimony yesterday, two other doctors harshly criticized Dr. Murray's treatment standards, noting that even if Jackson had given himself the propofol, his doctor would still be responsible for his death. "It's like leaving a baby that's sleeping on your kitchen countertop," Dr. Alon Steinberg told the jury. "You look at it and it's probably going to be OK and you're just going to go grab some diapers or go to the bathroom, but you would never do it."

Dr. Nader Kamangar, a hospital specialist in pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine, attacked Murray for using the anesthetic as a sleep aid and claimed that Murray should not have left the singer alone after sedating him with drugs. "Fundamental basics of the Hippocratic oath, or the ethics and morals that physicians swear by, is to do what's right for your patient, not to abandon your patient," Kamangar told jurors.

Timeline: The Trial of Dr. Conrad Murray
Photos: Michael Jackson Remembered
Photos: Michael Jackson's Funeral

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