Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Has Justice Been Flushed?

I am still grappling with the fact that Conrad Murray has only been charged with second-degree (involuntary) manslaughter. This carries a maximum sentence of 4 years. Yes, just 1460 days or 208 weeks. I am hoping that the prosecution has some hidden agenda up their sleeves as to why they would begin this process with such puny charges as a way to build them up to stronger charges and hope they can peg him with murder. I do not have hope of that occurrence though. But, let's look at two cases that are very recent and compare them to what is going on with Murray. Why is Murray getting off the hook so easily? I hope to break down the autopsy report soon and make it as humane as possible--focusing only why Michael is no longer here and who did it.

Eric Cropp, former pharmacist:


Eric was a pharmacist in Ohio. His license has now been completely revoked. He missed a sodium overdose in a chemo infusion prepared for a pediatric patient (the solution was made by an unlicensed pharmacy technician who because she was not licensed she was not charged). However, Eric was charged with reckless homicide and manslaughter but only found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to prison for approximately 6 months. How sad that this man was charged with reckless homicide when this was a legitimate accident. He admits to it. He had no motive or intention to harm this little girl.

I actually know some inside information about this case that I will share. Under Ohio's state law, technicians do not have to be certified. Anyone off the street is allowed to work as a technician in that state as well as other states around the country, too. I think since this error has occurred, a new law was passed at an attempt to have technicians get training before working as technicians in Ohio. Seems like it should be a pharmacist's job to make something like solutions, especially chemotherapy or pediatrics solutions, but that is not always the case (scary, huh?). I learned that Mr. Cropp's working conditions were very stressful (as most medical jobs are). He was in a hospital pharmacy that was very disheveled and unorganized. Staff were not allowed breaks, including restroom breaks. There had been some computer down-time issues that day as well. I can almost see more blame in the hospital for harboring unsafe working conditions in this case, but the hospital was not found to be at fault. Instead, the hospital blamed Mr. Cropp completely. He was not allowed a trial due to "strict liability" standards which I still do not complete understand--he plead no contest which is essentially a guilty plea. I thought everyone was be allowed a trial in this country? But, according to strict liability, no, you are not entitled to such. I do know after his sentencing the pharmacy was remodeled to create better working space for the pharmacists and technicians. Some other pharmacists feel a suspension of his license would be better than permanent revocation because they thought the error would make him be more careful than a pharmacist who had not made such an error. Murray, on the other hand should be charged with reckless homicide, am I not right?. He has done nothing but lie over and over again and it can be argued he had motive to kill from outside sources. He is a shady character to say the least and appears to be a sociopath. Mr. Cropp admits to his mistake of not catching the sodium overdose (~23% sodium vials were used instead of 0.9% saline--both are clear liquids and both were sitting on the counter when the preparation was made). I know I am not the only one to see the blatant injustice here.

Here is a second story about a poor nurse, doing her job, who is now facing, get this, 10 years in prison for reporting a doctor for malpractice (who had been disciplined before). She is facing more time in prison than Murray yet she did not kill anyone or even injure someone. Also, catch on to the way the sheriff ran to the doctor's rescue on this case. Should we look into there being some politics being played in the "City of Angels"?


Note to myself--look up "strict liability" again and see why it is not applying to Murray.