Michael Jackson doctor kept mum about propofol at hospital

Thu Jan 6, 2011 9:38pm EST
 
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two hospital physicians testified on Thursday that Michael Jackson's doctor never admitted to giving him the powerful anesthetic propofol after the singer arrived at their emergency room in cardiac arrest.

The UCLA Medical Center doctors' testimony came on the third day of a preliminary hearing to determine if Dr. Conrad Murray should stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death because he was negligent in his care.

Prosecutors have accused Murray of giving Jackson too much propofol at the "Thriller" singer's Los Angeles mansion to help him sleep, leading to his June 25, 2009 death. And they say Murray tried to cover up his actions after he discovered Jackson had stopped breathing.

Dr. Richelle Cooper, the emergency room physician who pronounced Jackson dead at the hospital, and her colleague Dr. Thao Nguyen both testified that Murray never mentioned propofol when they asked what drugs the singer had received.

Propofol is an anesthetic typically used in a hospital setting such as surgery, but Jackson was asking for it to be given to him at home as a sleep aid.

"We will often use propofol for some kind of procedure -- to fix a broken bone or a dislocated joint." Cooper said, but added "I've never seen it used in a home setting."

The hospital doctors said Murray did admit giving Jackson the sedative lorazepam, but Nguyen said Murray could not say how much time passed from the singer taking the drug until he stopped breathing.

"He did not have a watch and he did not have any concept of time," Nguyen said, adding that those are the exact words Murray himself used when speaking to her that day.   Continued...

 
<p>Conrad Murray, the late Michael Jackson's personal physician, sits in court during his arraignment at the Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch Courthouse February 8, 2010 on one count of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death. REUTERS/Mark Boster/Pool</p>