Addict in Charge: The Michael Jackson Case

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The allegations in the Michael Jackson wrongful death lawsuit have been flying fast and furious.

If the story put out by the litigants is true, it demonstrates just how much an addict with means can influence his treatment and drive the addiction process.

Murray hired to comply with Jackson's wishes?

According to reporting by CBS News, the defendant, AEG Live (a concert promoter contracted with Jackson), was tricked by Jackson, who retained Dr. Conrad Murray as a physician precisely because the doctor would administer propofol to the singer. Murray was convicted of killing Jackson in 2011 and is serving prison time for involuntary manslaughter. Propofol is a short-acting anesthetic given to Jackson to treat insomnia, although use in this manner is not medically justified.

AEG Live is being sued because they hired and paid Murray. He was retained at a salary of $150,000 a month.

The defendants argued in a closing statement that Jackson was the architect of his own demise and that his wealth and status allowed him to dictate drug use, rather than having a doctor in charge of his case. In effect, the allegation is that Murray was hired at an exorbitant salary (Murray was in financial difficulty at the time) to purchase his silence and compliance with Jackson’s wishes.

The story is a compelling one

Addicts are well known to actively work to surmount any barriers between them and their drug of choice. An addict with the resources Jackson had could easily shape his or her circumstances so that using was easy and legal. The very definition of being rich and powerful includes getting what you want. For an addict, this means drugs.

If the jury believes AEG’s lawyer, Jackson will ultimately be blamed for his own death. If they side with the estate, they will be accepting that AEG put Jackson under an inordinate amount of pressure and provided the means of relief as well – in the form of a well-paid physician.

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