The Los Angeles medical examiner's continued silence on the cause of Michael Jackson's death points to drug abuse, a top medical examiner told FOXNews.com on Monday.
Dr. Michael Baden, chief medical examiner for the state of New York, told FOXNews.com that because the California coroner's office did not mention any health conditions or trauma, it is safe to assume that the singer was abusing drugs in a manner that led to his ultimate death.
“One can reasonably speculate [that drugs are to blame] since the initial autopsy findings made no mention of an injury or trauma to the body and no mention of natural disease,” Baden, who recently performed the private autopsy of actor David Carradine, told FOXNews.com. “The fact that they didn’t say anything about it indicates he did not have a bad heart.”
According to Baden, in ninety five percent of deaths, the autopsy will reveal the cause of death on the same day.
“The only time you have to wait for weeks is with a toxicology report tied to drug use.”
Jackson’s rumored frail frame could have contributed to how susceptible he was to dangerous side effects from drugs, says Baden.
“I knew him, and while he was always thin, if he had grown emaciated and poorly nourished – as is consistent with drug abuse — it could have been an additional risk factor if he were taking too many drugs.”
Baden added that the role of any doctors and pharmacists associated with the singer would likely be scrutinized further if the toxicology findings show drugs to be the cause of death.
“If he had large amounts of drugs in his system, the next step will be to find out who prescribed them and who administered them," said baden. "If he did have Demerol or morphine in his system, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will get involved.”
According to Baden, the main reason the Jackson family would hire an independent second autopsy would be to seek faster answers about the singer's death.
“The [state] coroner’s office knows an awful lot of information now, but they aren’t releasing it because they want to wait for the toxicology results to be completed, which could take weeks,” Baden said.
“A family-sanctioned autopsy can tell them right away, and it can also reveal details such as fresh needle marks on his arms, if he was suffering from any diseases or conditions, etc. And the toxicology results can be available to them within a few days, as opposed to weeks,” Baden said.
Baden said that the family may be skeptical that a government agency can perform the autopsy correctly and without bias, and they could want a private medical examiner to testify later on during any potential litigation.