The case of Dr. Conrad Murray, the embattled former personal doctor for pop star Michael Jackson, began last week. Jackson passed away after an overdose of an anesthetic, Propofol, administered by Dr. Murray.
What is not in disagreement is that Murray had been giving Propofol to Jackson to help his condition with chronic insomnia. What is unclear, however, is whether it was medically responsible to give a patient a medication that usually intended for use in a hospital operating room. The lead prosecutor referred to Murray’s negligence as not comporting with the appropriate medical standards of care.
In medical malpractice lawsuits, a defendant has to deal with the burden to prove that a physician deviated from the normal medical standards of care. A deviation that results in harm or death is the basis for medical malpractice monetary compensation awards, but the question that also arises in this specific case is whether the physician should also be subject to criminal punishments.
Medical malpractice lawsuits that are based on wrongful death are somewhat common throughout the country. Manslaughter prosecutions for standard-of-care deviations are very rare, but not completely unheard of, either.
In February, another doctor by the name of Dr. Roberto Bonilla was found guilty of
According to California state law, involuntary manslaughter is a lesser degree of homicide, defined as a killing that occurs during the commission of an act (not
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