The Jackson Trial – What About Personal Responsibility?

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Photo taken from People Magazine
http://www.people.com

And the drama continues.

In 2009, pop star and world icon Michael Jackson died after being given a lethal dose of drugs by his personal doctor Conrad Murray. Two years later, Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and is currently serving a prison sentence. But apparently, that wasn’t enough.

Katherine Jackson, mother of the deceased, has filed a civil suit against AEG, the concert promoter that was managing Jackson’s “This is It” comeback tour in London, claiming that they did not properly investigate Murray and are therefore ultimately responsible for the singer’s death. The trial began on Monday; the Jackson family is suing for billions.

According to CNN, “The Jacksons will argue that AEG executives knew about the star’s weakened health and his past use of dangerous drugs while on tour. They’re liable in his death because they pressured Jackson and the doctor to meet their ambitious schedule to prepare for the London shows despite that knowledge, their lawyers contend.”

In all of this, nobody seems to be taking Jackson’s personal responsibility into account. As it goes, Jackson already abused painkillers and other drugs. As far as AEG pressuring Jackson into meeting the rigorous demands, Michael was an adult with the power to say “no” if he so chose. Whatever the consequences would be, he would face them.

Jackson apparently died after being given a lethal dosage of propofol as well as a mixture of other drugs by Murray. Murray, according to AEG, had been hired personally by Jackson, and was willing to do whatever it took to keep his job, including giving  Jackson whatever drugs he wanted.

What Murray did was wrong, and his punishment is just. But where does AEG lie at fault? It makes little difference whether Jackson asked for heightened dosages of drugs from a doctor or went and found a drug-dealer on the street. He knew what he was doing and knew the condition of his health. Perhaps the Jackson family could have stepped in and staged an intervention for him.

Jackson’s personal responsibility and lifestyle can’t be left out of the equation. As Wanda Sykes once said, “Michael Jackson died of Michael Jackson.” Although it was said in comedy, the words still ring true.

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