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October, 24

Predicting propofol effect 'hard'

 
 
 
 
Predicting propofol effect 'hard'

An expert on the powerful anaesthetic blamed for Michael Jackson's death has told jurors that it is difficult to know the medication's precise effect on the singer because he had been given so much of it for his insomnia in the months before he died.

Dr Steven Shafer pointed out that Jackson had been receiving the anaesthetic propofol almost every night for more than two months, according to a police statement by Dr Conrad Murray.

Murray, a cardiologist, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Dr Shafer was being cross-examined by lead defence lawyer Ed Chernoff, who noted the risk that Jackson would stop breathing should have been low after the first few minutes the drug was administered. Mr Chernoff based that conclusion on Dr Shafer's research.

"In Mr Jackson's case, it's harder to have that certainty," Dr Shafer replied. "There's very little, almost no precedent, for this level of propofol exposure."

Dr Shafer previously testified that he thinks a propofol overdose killed Jackson. But he said Murray kept no records about how much of the drug he gave the singer.

Dr Shafer has said the only possible explanation for Jackson's death based on the evidence was that Murray put the singer on an IV drip of propofol then left the room after the singer appeared to be asleep.

Dr Shafer is the final prosecution witness. Defence lawyers are expected to begin presenting their case later today.

 

Source: music.uk.msn.com
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