Jackson toxicology report this week: coroners

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 28, 2009 at 12:11 PM EDT

Toxicology tests to determine what killed Michael Jackson will be released this week officials said Tuesday, amid reports the singer's doctor gave him a lethal dose of a potent anesthetic.

The Los Angeles Coroner's office confirmed that results of tests carried out on Jackson's body at a June 26 autopsy will be revealed by the end of the week, a move expected to enhance the likelihood of criminal charges.

ABC News reported Tuesday that pathologists discovered a deadly cocktail of prescription drugs in Jackson's emaciated body, including the powerful painkillers OxyContin and Demerol.

The revelation came after CNN reported Monday that police believe Jackson's personal physician, Conrad Murray, gave the superstar the dose of an anesthetic -- Propofol, which is marketed under the trade name Diprivan -- that was responsible for his death.

Propofol is used in hospitals to induce unconsciousness in patients ahead of major surgery. Experts say the drug should only be administered by a trained anesthesiologist under strict monitoring conditions.

The possibility that Murray gave Jackson the drug intravenously has fueled speculation he may be charged with homicide after police raided his office last week searching for "evidence of the offense of manslaughter."

Lawyers for Murray, who have insisted he is innocent of criminal wrongdoing, issued a statement late Monday urging calm amid the flurry of reports.

"It's a waste of time responding to all these timed 'leaks' from 'anonymous' sources," attorney Ed Chernoff said. "I feel like a horse swatting flies.

"Everyone needs to take a breath and wait for these long delayed toxicology results... Things tend to shake out when all the facts are made known, and I'm sure that will happen here as well."

The TMZ.com entertainment news website reported that Murray had told police in an interview he gave Jackson Propofol via an IV drip.

The website reported police believe Murray may have fallen asleep while the drug was being administered, and awoke to find the singer aleady dead.

In the aftermath of Jackson's death, friends of the singer's family said the clan had "unanswered questions" regarding Murray, citing his failure to call emergency services immediately after discovering the singer unconscious.

Murray was also criticized for attempting to give CPR to Jackson while he lay on a bed even though medical practice calls for the patient to be placed on a hard surface.

"They (the family) are suspicious of this doctor and they have real reason to be because any other doctor would say 'Here's what happened in the last hour of his life and I was there. I gave him some medicine,'" family friend and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson said.

"(Murray) owes it to the family and to the public to say, 'These were the last hours of Michael's life and here's what happened.' That's a reasonable expectation."

Jackson died on June 25 in Los Angeles as he prepared to make a grueling 50-date series of comeback concerts in London.




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