(NOTE: Post updated to reflect 9-29 testimony)
In 24 minutes you can go through a McDonald’s drive-thru, order, pay, and eat your lunch. Or, in 24 minutes, you could put gas in your car, buy a soda and chips, eat the soda and chips, wash the car windows, and still have a lot of time to spare. Most people only get a mere thirty minutes for lunch at work each day. Twenty four minutes is a good amount of time, and you can do a lot in that time … if you use it wisely. Dr. Conrad Murray wasted twenty four minutes and something really bad happened.
Doctors know time is of the essence. They always use it wisely. And they do not panic. They see tragedy and death all the time. The ability to remain calm is one of the traits needed to be a good doctor. On June 25, 2009, at 11:56 am, Dr. Conrad Murray showed none of the traits required to be a good doctor. He discovered that his “patient,” Michael Jackson, was having a “bad reaction.” Instead of calling 911 immediately, he freaked out, asked a chef to “get help” from security, asked for help from Michael’s young son, Prince, and called MJ’s personal assistant, who lived across town (waiting until 12:13 pm to do this, seventeen minutes after he had found MJ unresponsive!). On that voice mail to the assistant, Murray’s voice was frantic. He never explained to the personal assistant what was going on exactly, nor did he ask the assistant to call 911. Michael’s chef told a similar story, saying Murray was frantic, never asked her to call 911, and never explained what was happening. Based on the nature of Murray’s voice, and not having an explanation for the phrase “bad reaction,” the assistant began calling house security, one of which was on the grounds and rushed to MJ’s room.
By the time security arrived, Michael was obviously dead, yet Murray still did not ask anyone to call 911. Although the security staff said Murray was attempting CPR, he still asked if anyone else in the room knew how to give CPR, as well. As Murray attempted mouth to mouth, he supposedly told the security guard that it was his first time doing the procedure AND that he was doing it because Michael was “his friend.” Excuse me? First time? A heart doctor? AND shouldn’t he have been performing the procedure because he’s a doctor, first and foremost, not as a “favor” for a friend? Geez!
It wasn’t until 12:20pm that 911 was finally called (after Murray also asked the bodyguard to clean up the medications in the room, which is suspect in and of itself). Twenty four minutes after Murray discovered that Michael was unresponsive, he decided to call 911. Twenty four minutes. It doesn’t seem like a long time, but when someone is in desperate need of medical attention, it can mean the difference between life and death. In this case, it meant death. It only took the paramedics four minutes to reach MJ’s house. Imagine what they might have been able to do had they arrived at noon.
As a doctor, it is an absurd notion to think Murray was unaware of his improper behavior. The first response for any doctor in the field is to get help and then begin CPR. You always want help to be on the way while you try to revive the patient. Murray deviated from this norm. He showed a lack of regard for the fragile essence of time (and the fragile state of his patient) and he behaved, in my opinion, in a panic.
I guess Dr. Feelgoods aren’t used to dealing with “real doctor” stuff. The whole scene had the makings of a dark Laurel & Hardy skit. Do you know CPR? No? Call the assistant, does he know? What about the teenage son? Can he help? Isn’t there some emergency number we can call? 9-1-something?
The timeline in this case shows that Murray’s action on that morning were not those of a level-headed doctor. He waited 24 minutes before calling 911. Folks, those mere twenty four minutes, even if you cut out every irresponsible thing he did prior, are enough to establish gross negligence, especially when you consider that it only took paramedics four minutes to arrive at Michael’s house.
In my opinion, Murray’s behavior was that of a guilt-ridden man, trying to save his own butt. He was frantic because Michael died and it was his fault. Instead of trying to save Michael, he attempted to save his own ass. He went about a ridiculous attempt to revive MJ on his own. I believe he did not want any official medical professional to witness his terrible disregard for his patient’s well-being. Murray knew damned well that he was engaging in reckless, dangerous behavior with his patient, not to mention unethical and illegal. And in a last ditch effort, Murray attempted to clean up the evidence of his ill deeds. The desire for his own survival, that was more important to Conrad Murray. His own damned ass. Not the dying man. He could wait … and that wait of twenty four minutes made a huge difference.
Just imagine, if Murray had responded differently on that afternoon. What if Michael could have been saved? It’s too early in testimony to judge whether or not Michael was already dead when Murray found him, but if there was even a slim chance that he could have survived, shouldn’t Murray have responded in a manner that would have saved him instead of running around like a chicken with his head cut off? How can his actions on that day be justified? Twenty four minutes, people, just think about that … less than a half hour. What if it had transpired differently?