Report: Michael Jackson's Doctor Will Be Charged

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The Associated Press reported Friday that prosecutors will seek an involuntary manslaughter indictment of Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray.

So the question is_ Why did it take so long? Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, and right from the start, there was overwhelming suspicion that something was just not right with the care that Dr. Conrad Murray had been providing.

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A spokeswoman for Murray and his lawyer, Edward Chernoff, say that he neither prescribed nor administered anything that could have killed Michael Jackson.

The drugs that were found in Michael Jackson's body included the sedative lorazepam, midazolam, diazepam, lidocaine, ephedrine, and most importantly propofol. These are not the kinds of medications that good medical standards of practice would allow. And yet, very little was done by the board of medical examiners, both in California and in Texas, where he practices, to keep Murray from continuing to practice medicine.

I believe that anyone is "innocent until proven guilty." But the oath to "do no harm" taken by all physicians must to be taken seriously. Patients and families trust physicians to do good by them. When any patient - including celebrities - requests that we provide them with things that we as scientists know can be harmful, there is very little one can do but to take away the privilege from the health care provider.

I know that a thorough investigation takes time to build, but if the medical community wants to continue to be a self-policing guardian of human life, we need to have a more transparent system working for both the patients and the doctors.