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Michael Jackson's cause of death in limbo - and so is the lesson to be learned

Posted Aug 11 2009 10:43am
As much as people like to condemn the tabloids, there always seems to be a nugget of truth in the stories. If we are to believe what we've read, the release of Michael Jackson's autopsy report will be anti-climactic.

But the release of the report could at least validate what's been said, and finally lift the veil on a life that Jackson zealously protected. We can learn something more about the dangers of drugs, the dangers of doctors and dangers of neglecting the obvious signs of mental illness.

From MTV:

More than six weeks after Michael Jackson's death, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office announced on Monday that it had completed an autopsy on the singer that details his cause of death. Those results, however, are being withheld indefinitely to allow police to complete their investigation, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"The investigation was thorough and comprehensive," a coroner's official explained in a news release. But in order to avoid interfering with the ongoing criminal probe by the Los Angeles Police Department into what might have killed the 50-year-old singer, the office will honor the LAPD's request to put the results on a "security hold."

Quoting an unnamed police source, TMZ reported that the LAPD doesn't want the autopsy released, because it could hamper their ongoing investigation. In a statement released on Monday, the police department said its investigation "has included dozens of individual interviews and the service of search warrants locally and out of-state."

To date, the LAPD has interviewed a number of Jackson's former doctors, most prominently his personal physician at the time of his death, Dr. Conrad Murray. The doctor's Las Vegas and Houston offices have been searched in recent weeks, and police have carted away records and computer equipment related to Murray's treatment of Jackson.

Murray reportedly told police that he administered the powerful anesthetic Diprivan to Jackson in the 24 hours before the singer died, and police have identified the cardiologist as a suspect in their manslaughter investigation. Murray's lawyer has said his client did not "prescribe or administer anything that should have killed Michael Jackson."

The doctor was hired at a cost of $150,000 a month to be Jackson's personal physician in the lead-up to the singer's planned 50-date string of This Is It comeback shows at London's O2 Arena. Footage of rehearsals for those shows will now be released as a documentary on October 30.

Jackson was reportedly found in Murray's bed on the morning of his death, and when emergency workers arrived to try to revive the pop star, they are said to have found an IV stand, an empty IV bag and oxygen tanks in Murray's room, all indications of the administration of an intravenously delivered drug such as Diprivan. No charges have been filed in the case to date.
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