Thanks to Little Miss Attila, I just read the New York Times story from 8/24/09 based on information obtained in Texas from court documents regarding the investigation into the death of Michael Jackson on June 25. The documents name the cause of death as the anesthetic propofol, which should never be used outside of a hospital because of the degree to which it suppresses breathing.
So why do I say Michael Jackson died of a sleep disorder? Because he would not have demanded, manipulated, bribed and coerced doctors and nurse practitioners to give him the propofol and other drugs to make him sleep if he did not have a sleep disorder, which was probably undiagnosed, and definitely was not being treated appropriately. Even so, Jackson was so willful that it appears he disregarded the advice of any health professional that disagreed with the treatment and drugs that Jackson desired. So Jackson also died of his own willfulness.
The New York Times piece gives the most complete timeline I’ve read to date of the events surrounding Jackson’s death, but I think they have one thing wrong. Jackson was probably dead as a doornail by the time his personal physician, cardiologist Dr. Conrad Murray, returned to his side after leaving him to go to the bathroom. And waiting 82 minutes from discovering Jackson not breathing until calling 911? In the movies that time would be spent on getting rid of evidence.
Also, Cherilyn Lee has been identified in other news stories as a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners are allowed to prescribe medications when they are practicing under a doctor’s supervision. That is why Jackson approached her begging for a prescription for propofol. Ms. Lee refused and cautioned Jackson.
So — Michael Jackson may not have died of obstructive sleep apnea, but the root cause of his death is still a sleep disorder because he told the medical professionals appeasing him — you can’t say “treating” — that he just wanted to sleep.