Deepak Chopra Calls "Hollywood" Doctors Shameful - Dr Murray Denies Administering the Demerol That Killed Michael Jackson
Dr. Deepak Chopra, rails against a culture of Hollywood doctors that provide narcotic medications in exchange for continuing access to a celebrity's inner circle. Dr. Conrad Murray, however, denies ever administering or prescribing opiates to Jackson.
Dr. Deepak Chopra, Jackson’s close friend and a Hollywood celebrity of his own right, says that many doctors in Hollywood are little more than “Drug Peddlers…They just happen to have a medical license.” Since Jackson's death he has described a world where doctors seduced by the fame and money of celebrity culture provide drugs illegitimately to celebrities, in exchange for continuing access.
Dr. Chopra said that Jackson asked him for opiates in 2005, while staying as a guest in his (Chopra's) home, following Jackson's acquittal on child molestation charges, saying, "At one point, he started asking me for a prescription. He knew I was a physician. I had a license. He asked me for a prescription for a narcotic. And I said 'what the heck do you want a narcotic prescription for?"
"It suddenly dawned on me that he was already taking these and that he had probably a number of doctors who were giving him these prescriptions."
On Dr. Chopra’s blog, he writes “He (Jackson) was surrounded by enablers, including a shameful plethora of M.D.s in Los Angeles and elsewhere who supplied him with prescription drugs.”
Jackson’s doctor shopping (going from doctor to doctor seeking prescription medications) likely played a pivotal role in his overdose death. Although toxicology reports won’t reveal exactly what caused his heart failure for some time, reports indicate that the singer took a cocktail of medications that included opiates, such as Demerol and OxyContin, and the anti anxiety medication, Xanax.
Both opiates and drugs like Xanax can cause respiratory depression on their own, but when these drugs are combined, these dangerous respiratory effects can be increased, or even multiplied. When a patient doctor shops, no one doctor knows exactly what or how much medication is used, with often tragic consequences (actor Heath Ledger died from this same combination of medications).
Although initial reports had indicated that Jackson’s personal physician, Doctor Conrad Murray, had injected Jackson with Demerol just prior to his death, a spokesperson for Dr. Murray, denied this allegation.
Edward Chernoff, Dr. Murray’s attorney, told the LA Times that his client had not injected Jackson with Demerol ever, nor had he ever prescribed either OxyContin or Demerol to his patient. Dr. Murray was interviewed by LA police and is considered a witness and not a suspect in the death.
Dr. Murray was retained to assist the singer medically in preparation for a scheduled series of performances. The doctor is said to owe more than $400 000 from court judgments against him, with additional cases still pending. Dr. Murray is reportedly owed $300 000 for his 2 months of services, a sum that the concert promoters that hired him admit, remains unpaid.