The latest trial to grip the nation was the Dr. Conrad Murray trial in the death of Michael Jackson case. Dr. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, and now had his sentencing today. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor began the sentencing proceeding with an eloquent statement about Dr. Murray and to ensure that he, the judge, exercises his discretion to be fair. He powerfully said “There are those who feel Dr. Murray is a saint. There are those who feel Dr. Murray is the devil. He’s neither. He’s a human being. He stands convicted of the death of another human being.”
Looking like the judge was going to provide Dr. Murray a lighter sentence. However, he didn’t. He surprised the courtroom with the maximum sentence after preparing us—if not scaring us at first—with a possibly lesser sentence.
The sentence was four years. However, with good time the sentence will be credited to be just two years meaning Dr. Murray is released at the end of 2013. The Jackson family noted they were happy the judge did not let Dr. Murray go with a light sentence and felt this was justified. They were recorded saying that they did not want revenge, but they did want to “remind physicians that they cannot sell their services to the highest bidder and cast aside their Hippocratic oath to do no harm.”
It is that statement that I read in the news and knew I should relay to all my faithful readers. That is really the crux of the justice system when they go after physicians in either civil or criminal cases. While remedies in other cases like contracts can reimburse the party who had their contract breached, in medicine that is not always the case. Either the patient has died like here, or cannot be fixed. We are not talking about material possession but the bodies and emotions of human beings; that cannot be fixed!
Therefore, the law in medical malpractice and medical cases is not looking to suck the money out of the doctor’s pockets. Nor is it seeking to throw away doctor’s lives in jail. It is to deter wrongful conduct by physicians. It is to make sure the uphold their Oaths, to do the best they can as physicians, and to health the sick or injured. Essentially, and most importantly, it is to PROTECT PATIENT RIGHTS. I commend the judge for upholding this notion, and the Jackson family for not seeking an aggressive retributive stance, but one more of deterrence—or ideally declared to be.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.