Friday, October 21, 2011

The One About Propofol

Did you think I'd fallen off the face of the Earth? I sort've have-after having my baby, I then needed to have my gallbladder removed. I don't recommend two abdominal surgeries in as many months, if you can avoid it!

Anyway, have you been following the Conrad Murray trial? To be honest, after the whole child molestation accusations, Michael Jackson skeeved me out and I didn't follow him much except to notice he too fell of the radar. I have been somewhat interested in Conrad Murray's trial, though, because it reminded me vaguely of the situation with Jack Kevorkian. I am simply fascinated with the line between providing medical care, and providing a service for pay. I know the comparison is a stretch but try to stay with me on this one.

One of the experts at Murray's trial made a statement to the effect that Murray wasn't doing his due diligence as a medical professional, but rather was taking instructions against his better judgement, in the name of celebrity and profit. Now, obviously Kevorkian had a passion for helping people who were suffering (whether you agree with what he did or not, you must admit he did seem to care for his patients) but the fact is that he was doing something illegal, and something (intentionally) dangerous. I don't know if Conrad Murray cared about Michael Jackson but he was doing something dangerous and he knew it. He wasn't following medical protocol.

I think Murray giving Jackson Propofol was immoral and deplorable, but I also know people who work for celebrities can become enamored with their status and the wealth that might come from working for them. Clearly Murray violated all kinds of ethics in administering anesthesia as a sleep aid! But I truly believe it was just bad luck of the draw. It could've been any other number of physicians lacking a moral compass who enabled him in his drug addiction. I believe in my heart of hearts that if it wasn't Murray, it would've been someone else. There has been no evidence that any medical professional in his life stepped up to the plate to forcefully care for him as a patient and try to help him work through his issues. Now, I firmly believe an addict will only stop when they want to, and something tells me Jackson's narcissism and addiction prevented him from seeing himself in a true light. But! At the very least they could've tried to treat him the way all people seeking medical treatment deserve to be treated-with dignity and respect for their life. Addiction is a cruel, cruel beast.

I know this post is all over the place. Sorry for that. It was much more concise when I was composing it in my head at 3 a.m. What got me off on this misguided tangent was my gallbladder surgery. Another expert at the Murray trial said his patients ask him daily if the drug he is administering is the one that killed Jackson.

I feel bad for the manufacturer of Propofol; it is a good, effective drug. It has gotten a bad rap it doesn't deserve. Lots of medications are good medications but once you abuse something, you can't turn back and blame the drug. My anesthesiologist didn't specifically say he was using Propofol on me but I read the label when he was showing me the drug. I didn't so much as flinch. I knew it was being used in the appropriate way and I was thankful to have access to it. Anesthesia, to me, is a life saver of sorts. My operation, though routine and technically not life-threatening, couldn't be done without it. Well, I guess it could but I'd likely have gone into shock and died from that alone. (Side note, did you know when they remove your gallbladder they re-wire your intestines to your liver? Yeah, it's kind of a big deal.) And let me tell you, when I awoke from being put under, I felt like I'd been to hell and back. It was very difficult for me to regain all my faculties. I'm totally shocked someone could try to rehearse for a major stage show after being put under. I had to have my husband help me get dressed! Ugh!

All this to say, I will be intently watching to see the verdict on this one, as I truly believe a precedence may take place.

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