Sunday 19 November 2017

I was trying to stop Michael Jackson taking propofol claims Dr Conrad Murray

Dr. Conrad Murray
Dr. Conrad Murray

Diana Pilkington and Alice Philipson

The doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson has defended his practices in the run-up to the singer's death.

Conrad Murray admitted it was a "mistake" not to keep medical notes, but insisted the absence of notes was not the reason Jackson died.

In an interview with journalist Steve Hewlett, recorded eight days before he was found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of the star, Murray said: "I think my standards have been impeccable.

"If you tell me, 'Dr Murray, it was really stupid, it was a careless thing, you should have had notes', I'll say, 'You know what? I agree'.

"If you tell me I'm culpable, I want to know what do you mean culpable?"

He added: "I always write notes. The setting in which I was did not give me that opportunity to do it. And clearly I did not. Was this a mistake on my part? Absolutely. But the absence of notes was not responsible for his death."

After a six-week trial, a jury ruled on Monday that the doctor gave the King of Pop a fatal overdose of the anaesthetic propofol.

Murray, who did not give evidence during his trial, said he would never have recommended propofol to the star, and said he was working with Jackson to help him stop using the drug.

"I would say basically it took me a while to take away from Michael something I thought he should not use," he said in the interview.

The screening of the interview preceded the documentary The Man Who Killed Michael Jackson, broadcast on Channel 4 last night.

In the documentary, directed by Tom Roberts, Murray said he was "entrapped" by the late singer in the run-up to his death.

He said he had felt obliged to stay with his patient, who had desperately wanted his doctor at his side.

Murray said: "I went there to take care of a healthy man, who said he was fine, to just keep surveillance in case my kids get sick or I get the flu, help us to choose right, better foods, and wash our hands so we don't get infected. But once I got in there I was entrapped."

He added: "I do not think that he would have had an active intention to do me harm but I think, through his most intense desire to have me there with him, it was entwined with a degree of betrayal."

Murray, who faces up to four years in prison, said his patient thought of him as a friend.

"He felt that I was someone he can trust," said Murray in The Man Who Killed Michael Jackson.

"He had very close acquaintances, he spoke about Marlon Brando and his son, Fred Astaire and Ginger. But friends he did not have. He said, 'Of all my life, I have found one friend which is you, Dr Conrad'."

Jackson was found not breathing in his own bed in his rented mansion after being dosed intravenously with propofol, a drug normally administered in hospitals during surgery.

During Murray's trial, the court heard that the doctor gave the powerful sedative to Jackson to help him overcome his chronic insomnia.

However, prosecutors said the use of the drug as a sleeping aid violated standards of care and that Murray was criminally negligent by using it without proper staff or medical equipment.

Before his death on June 25, 2009, Jackson was preparing to perform a series of farewell concerts at London's O2 venue. For six weeks, as Jackson undertook strenuous rehearsals, Murray infused him with propofol every night, the doctor told police.

The court ultimately found that it was a lethal dose of the anaesthetic, administered by Murray, that killed the pop star.

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