Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Monday, June 29, 2009

Deepak Chopra on Michael Jackson and Enabling Doctors

A list of the cocktail of drugs Michael Jackson was taking when he died can be seen here.

Dr. Deepak Chopra was a friend of Jackson's. He writes about Jackson's death on his blog at The Huffington Post.
"The public's attention span is short, but widespread awareness is the first step. The real target audience are the local licensing boards and peer review committees who handle medical practice. The culture of "just say yes" when a celebrity shows up in a doctor's office needs to be condemned. This condemnation needs to be followed up with serious consequences for enabling physicians. If they recklessly addict a patient, severe repercussions should follow. If they themselves are addicted, complete abstinence must be achieved before they are allowed to return to medical practice, and random drug testing should be required by all states. Computerized medical histories should be instituted, so that we know precisely how many prescriptions are being written by each doctor and filled by each patient. With a centralized database, celebrities won't be able to pull off the trick of fooling dozens doctors and pharmacists all over town. And we need to do a better job educating physicians about the nuances and difficulties of treating patients such as these.

These steps are a beginning. Realistically, celebrities will always be first in line in gaining easy access to drugs. They have the means, the excuses, the money, and the opportunity. But at the very least the culture of enabling physicians must be branded as shameful. The same image that fools the public has eroded medical ethics. The abuse of prescription medication is becoming an alarming problem in this country, It's not fun to take drugs, it is serious business as is our charge to care for patients, celebrity or not. Doctors that enable celebrities must be brought to justice or else we will continue to witness shattered lives and sudden death."
Chopra says Jackson's death due to drugs More