Autopsy reveals MJ was healthy

Jackos lung condition was not serious enough to be a direct cause of death

But internally, the pop star was in mostly fine physical shape for a 50-year-old man, according to his autopsy report obtained by The Associated Press.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s report shows Jackson’s weight of 136 pounds was in the acceptable range for a 5-foot-9 man. His heart was strong with no sign of plaque buildup. His kidneys and most other major organs were normal.

The singer did have health issues, however, including arthritis in the lower spine and some fingers, and mild plaque buildup in his leg arteries. Most serious was the condition of his lungs, which the autopsy report said were chronically inflamed and had reduced capacity that might have left him short of breath.

But the lung condition was not serious enough to be a direct or contributing cause of death, according to the document.

“His overall health was fine,” said Zeev Kain, chairman of the anesthesiology department at the University of California, Irvine, who reviewed a copy of the autopsy report for the AP. “The results are within normal limits.”

Kain, who was not involved in the autopsy, said most of the scars appeared to be from plastic surgery though others, like a scar on the knee, could have been from a medical procedure.

The medical examiner found numerous punctures on both arms and on a knee and ankle. The leg punctures could have been from intravenous therapies not described in the autopsy report, Kain said.

Jackson had several tattoos, all of them cosmetic, including dark tattoos in the areas of both eyebrows and under his eyes, and a pink tattoo around his lips. The singer died at his rented Los Angeles mansion June 25 after his personal physician, Conrad Murray, administered the anesthetic propofol and two other sedatives to get the chronic insomniac to sleep, court documents state.

Propofol, normally a surgical anesthetic used in operating rooms, acts as a respiratory depressant and requires constant monitoring.

Murray told police he left the room to use the bathroom and phone records show he also made calls for 47 minutes around the time Jackson encountered problems. When Murray realised Jackson was unresponsive, he began frantic efforts to revive him, but Jackson never regained consciousness and was declared dead at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Centre.
The coroner’s office announced last month that Jackson’s death was a homicide caused by “acute propofol intoxication”, with the other sedatives listed as a contributing factor. They said the standard of care for administering propofol was not met and the recommended equipment for patient monitoring, precision dosing and resuscitation was missing.

Murray is the target of what Los Angeles police term a manslaughter investigation. The decision on criminal charges will come from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Murray has been interviewed twice by police.

Murray’s attorney, Edward Chernoff, said he was anxious to see the full autopsy results and would not comment until he had done so. He added that he stood by his original statement that Murray did not administer anything that “should have” killed Jackson.

The autopsy findings cut off a potential defence for Murray — that Jackson hid serious pre-existing conditions that increased the risk of death from the drugs he willingly took. Even if he did hide a condition such as his weakened lungs, a prosecutor could argue Murray should have detected the condition before administering drugs, said Michael Brennan, a clinical law professor at the University of Southern California who specialises in criminal defence.

Comeback shows

At the time of his death Jackson was preparing for a series of comeback concerts in London. Rehearsals were rigorous and there were questions about whether Jackson would be physically able to hold up.

But aside from his lungs, the autopsy report did not identify any serious physical problems that might have limited Jackson’s ability to perform. It also said he was actively producing sperm.

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