There is no moral victory in the conviction of Dr. Conrad Murray and let it be a precautionary tale. No, Michael Jackson is not going to be resurrected from the dead now that Murray is behind bars but I am still mourning. I mourn because of the unexpected death of my childhood icon. I mourn because no one had the courage to say “no” when he made inappropriate requests. Murray wasn’t the first physician to harm a patient while in pursuit of money and unfortunately, he won’t be the last. The rules and standards of the practice of medicine were established for a reason and when they’re breached, expect nothing but trouble. Then, there are times when no rules exist at all which make matters even worse.
A few years ago, a former boss decided he would transform a public clinic into a revenue generating enterprise so he removed existing physicians out of their clinics and relegated them to obscure cubby holes where they “reviewed charts” and attempted to look busy knowing that it was only a matter of time before they were fired. In their place, were the cronies of the physician-in-charge who were being paid, not by the hour but on a per-patient-basis. The clinic degenerated into a mess. Eighty pregnant patients were scheduled for one physician to be seen in one day to the tune of $50 to $75 per patient. It was an absolute outrage. A complaint was filed with the Florida Board of Medicine to complain to no avail. The Board stated there were no laws in Florida that prohibited the number of patients a physician could see in a day. The American College of Obstetrician/Gynecologists essentially said the same thing. These are the loopholes in our present system that allows physicians and healthcare extenders to compromise patient safety in their pursuit of making money. Murray expected to make a lot of money, allegedly $150,000 a month. According to the print media, he never received a dime; only a felony conviction instead. The seduction of money has struck again but there are no winners. Murray’s medical career is over. And Michael Jackson is dead.