As police continue to investigate Dr. Conrad Murray, it appears more likely by the day that Michael Jackson's personal physician will end up in court, the defendant in what could be a negligence, manslaughter or even murder trial.
His defense, some have posited, may rest on his ability to paint Jackson as an addict who was essentially to blame for his own death. Is this a fair argument?
Criminally speaking, Dr. Conrad Murray may be held liable in some capacity for the June 25 demise of the star when the ongoing police investigation ends.
But what if he hadn't died? Consider the following scenario:
Jackson is revived in the ambulance or at the hospital, but a whirlwind of media coverage still surrounds him. Police ask the same questions ... only he lives.
Was MJ doctor shopping? Did he pay doctors cash in exchange for questionable practices? Did he use aliases to fill prescriptions? The list goes on and on.
How significant role did Michael Jackson (1958-2009) play in his own death, and how should the answer to that impact the criminal investigation of others?
Ethically, and likely legally, Dr. Conrad Murray should know better than to administer a drug like Propofol to Michael Jackson outside a hospital (whether he tried to cover up what happened by waiting five hours to call 911 is another topic).
So, we shouldn't blame the victim, right? But what if the victim is not blameless? What if the victim used his vast power, wealth and charm to get what he wanted? Should someone, even a doctor, really be held accountable for placating him?
Michael Jackson was, after all, a grown man, albeit one exhibiting marginal decision-making abilities in the last years of his life. Accounts of him pleading for drugs are abundant. Was he destined for a disaster of his own creation?
If you're defending Dr. Conrad Murray in a murder trial, you might try to argue that.
But on the flip side, was Jackson still the victim in all of this - not just because he died June 25, but all along, from the mental disorder of drug addiction?
It's a question not easily answered. What do you think? Is Michael responsible?