The Passing of Michael Jackson, Part 2

During Michael Jackson’s 50-year lifetime, so much has evolved and changed in drug administration and management. According to Lehne (2007), the laws and amendments were updated relevant to any misuse or tragic side effect that became uncovered, i.e, thalidomide and its outcome on infants born with phocomelia (a defect without arms and legs) (Pg. 15). In order for new drugs to enter the market, a “Randomized Controlled Trial” was utilized for the safety of those about to administer a new alternative to a person’s diagnosis, i.e., when treating AIDS. With the progression of drug research, monitoring the introduction of new medications has become crucial to the learning process for nursing. When evaluating Michael Jackson’s drug treatment following his injury-related and cosmetic surgeries, were the possible addictive side effects properly scrutinized? With addition to the investigation of his highly publicized case, it appears why many other famous people have become innocent victims of prescribed drug addictions? Because of such circumstances, forensic nursing should become a more accepted specialized field that assists in providing necessary guidelines for upgrading drug regulations, as well as understanding the dimensions of abusive lifestyles. Reports in the media have stated that Jackson was using pseudonyms to obtain sleeping medications. If such drugs were prescribed, why is it not necessary to physically see a patient when these medications are requested? According to California state law, it is illegal to use pseudonyms for any medical purpose. More research would be required to understand whether such laws are consistent throughout the United States, as well as in other places of the world in which he toured or vacationed. If it is not illegal somewhere, it is conceivable that Jackson might have found a loophole to feed his drug habit given his substantial wealth. Discovering which generic drugs would soothe his sleep or pain issues would likely require minimal effort if he paid someone off. In addition, the Internet might also have served as a resource for ordering potentially harmful prescribed drugs. Lehne (2007) outlined in pharmacokinetics that there are four basic processes that affect the human body which are absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (Pg. 25). If Michael Jackson was monitored on a regularly basis for drugs, his blood levels could have been easily documented and served as early indicators of his serious problem. Determining which drugs stayed in his bloodstream for how long and how they were administered are also crucial factors in this case. According to Lehne (2007), “The term blood-brain barrier (BBB) refers to the unique anatomy of capillaries in the CNS. Only drugs that are lipid soluble or have a transport system can cross the BBB to a significant degree” (Pg. 36). Furthermore, Lehne (2007) noted, “Multiple dosing leads to drug accumulation” (Pg. 42). It appears that regularly monitoring the therapeutic range of Michael Jackson’s drug usage might have saved his life. With this said, the investigation will hopefully be helpful to the medical community in the treatment of other celebrities with chronic dependencies. Nurses can also play a significant role when evaluating such patients if properly trained and understanding the rollercoaster effects of an abusive lifestyle…debilitating to any and all income brackets and ethnicity. References Lehne, R. A. (2007). Pharmacology for Nursing Care (Sixth Edition). Pgs. 15-36.

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