Expert: Jackson likely gave self fatal propofol shot

Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:45pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson likely injected himself with a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol after popping an extra eight sedatives without his doctor's knowledge, a Los Angeles court heard on Friday.

Dr. Paul White, the last defense witness in the involuntary manslaughter trial of the singer's physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, said that self-administration was the most likely scenario to explain levels of propofol and lorazepam found in Jackson's system after his death on June 25, 2009.

White said that based on the amount of propofol found in Jackson's urine, he believed the pop star gave himself a further injection of propofol about one hour after Murray has admitted injecting the 50 year-old singer with a relatively small 25 milligram dose of the drug as a sleep aid.

"With the administration of the additional 25 milligrams that we're speculating was self-injected by Mr. Jackson, the level increases rapidly and at the time of death would be almost identical to the level found in the urine at autopsy," White told jurors.

Using a mathematical model, White also said Jackson could have swallowed eight lorazepam tablets earlier in the night as he struggled with sleeplessness, bringing the amount of the sedative found in his blood to that seen at autopsy.

"The combination effect is potentially profound," White said of the two drugs.

Authorities have ruled Jackson died of an overdose of propofol, with lorazepam playing a contributing role.

A rival expert testified for the prosecution last week that he believed Jackson died after Murray left him on an intravenous drip of propofol for a number of hours.   Continued...

<p>Dr. Paul White, an anaesthesiologist and propofol expert, holds up an IV drip in the final stage of Dr. Conrad Murray's defense case, during Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial in Los Angeles October 28, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Buck/Pool</p>