Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jacko fades to Blacko

I have been trying very diligently to avoid the final act of the three ring circus of Michael Jackson's life. I suppose an interesting post would examine the mass hysteria/grief/outrage brought on by such events. Likewise the idea of "flash memory" (where were you when you heard?) could also provide a good excuse to discuss hippocampal neurophysiology. Certainly a psychobiography of the adult who was never a child, and the child who was never an adult, would provide paragraphs of material. But, as I said, I'm trying to avoid the topic.

That being said, The autopsy report (if one can believe anything that the media presents these days-and I have my doubts) suggests that Mr. Jackson was not going to win the Andrew Weil award for good health. With a diet of (per the New York Post) narcotics Demerol, Dilaudid and Vicodin; the muscle relaxant Soma; antidepressants Zoloft and Paxil; the anti-anxiety drug Xanax; and the heartburn medication Prilosec, it's quite easy conceive a serious case of cardiac suppresion in a person who already is likely to have severe electrolyte imbalance (as commonly seen in severe weight loss).

I imagine there will be an ongoing debate as to whether this was, one one hand, a tragic exploitation of Mr. Jackson, versus, on the other hand, a spoiled addict making very stupid decisions. Or something in between. I'll leave that to the rest of the blogosphere, mostly in disinterest. However, of interest is the fact that a doctor (or in Mr. Jackson's case, allegedly many doctors) are willing to pull out the prescription pad at all in these sort of cases.

To wit:

Marilyn Monroe took enough Nembutal and Chloral Hydrate (in her presumed suicide) to kill more than ten people. She had reportedly agreed to let her psychiatrist wean her off the Nembutal, with using Chloral Hydrate.

In 1977 alone, George Nichopoulos wrote Elvis prescriptions for 10,000 doses of uppers, downers and assorted narcotics.

Dr. Sandeep Kapoor was charged recently with eight felonies, for fraud and misrepresentation, in the treatment of Anna Nicole Smith. The "thousands of pills" included methadone, multiple antidepressants, and sleeping pills.

This pattern is not limited to California. Certainly the most recent generation of athletes (especially Major League Baseball players) are having to live under the cloud of the "steroid era." It is not uncommon that these abuses are with health care professionals as accomplices.

Of course, addicts will find their way to fuel their addictions. And the rich and famous certainly have more resources for doing such, including creating a cadre of enablers. So, we know that the rich can fuel their habits, and surround themselves with "yes-men." However, why do physicians seem to be willing to be blinded by celebrity and money, even to the point of prescription Russian Roulette?


Jessica Bond said...

Go figure - why would physicians be blinded by the
glaring illness of the drug seeker?

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