“Will not expose humans to unreasonable risks…”

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Michael Jackson/Propofol

As Dr. Conrad Murray’s trial continues, the issue of the safety of prescription drugs, specifically hypnotics, have been brought to the forefront. Dr. Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter for administering a lethal dose of Propofol to his patient, singer Michael Jackson. (Article in the Scientific American about how Propofol could have killed Michael Jackson here). All drugs (and non drugs alike) unquestionably become dangerous when abused, but take for instance, Lunesta, a prescription sleep aid whose commercials have been hounding the airwaves and whose side effects during proper use are sinister: “They have found that people have been known to get out of bed and drive cars, cook food, had sex, made phone calls, and been involved in other activities.  After they woke up these people were usually unable to remember what they had done.”

The FDA approves these drugs because they pass the specific requirements of the drug regulatory system; doctors such as Conrad Murray prescribe these drugs because they supposedly help their patients with their ailments. Still, we can use Dr. Murphy as an example of what happens when money becomes an active factor in health, healing, and medicine: did Dr. Murray neglect his hypocratic oath and sedate Michael Jackson to death with a general anesthetic– meant to be administered in a hospital setting– to maintain his $150,000 a month salary? In the same vein, do pharmaceutical drugs put consumers at risk of potentially fatal side effects for the sake of a multi-billion dollar a year business?

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1 Comment

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One response to ““Will not expose humans to unreasonable risks…”

  1. having worked as a nurse on an insivtene care unit i can only say how shocked i am that any one would administer propofol outside of a critical care department, propofol is such a fast acting drug and can cause a persons blood pressure to drop dangerously low and can cause respiratory deperssion including stopping someone from taking in enough oxygen and expelling enough co2, with only a small amount needed. i have seen patients who have et tubes in their airways and are being spontaneously vented (meaning patients start a breath and the vent then helps to deliver the required amount of o2 and pressure needed) completley stop breathing and require the vent to deliver a set amount of breath`s after aving a small bolous of propofol when they have previously had a higher dosage and not had this reaction. that is what makes propofol so dangerous and is why contious monitoring of 02 levels, c02 levels and blood pressure monitoring, to ensure that these limits do not drop low they should be monitored on equipment that has alarms that can be set to show if these observations are changing. dr murray has admitted that he gave mr jackson a small amount of propofol that night, first this is not safe practice in a home setting, second he did not have the correct equipment, skills or staff to assist him while mr jackson was under the influence of propofol or if he required an et tube to keep his air patent, third he should not of left mr jackson for 1 second. fact dr murray is a fault for not keeping mr jackson safe, even if mr jackson took drugs without dr murray knowing, dr murray should not of given propofol even a small amount. he should be found guilty.

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