A medical expert looked jurors in the eyes Wednesday and told them that Michael Jackson's doctor committed 17 flagrant violations of the standard of care for his famous patient and was directly responsible for the death of the King of Pop.
Conrad Murray Trial: Who's Who, Coroner's Report, Testimony Timeline
Dr. Steven Shafer's testimony Wednesday in Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial included a video re-enactment of the proper administration of propofol, the drug cited in a coroner's report on Jackson's death. The video depicts the drug being administered in a surgical setting.
When asked about Murray's relationship with Jackson, Shafer described it more like an "employee-employer" relationship rather than a "patient-doctor" relationship.
"'Yes' is what an employee says," Shafer said. "'Yes' is not what a doctor says to a request from a patient that is not in the patient's best interest."
Shafer testified that he believed Murray had 17 distinct egregious violations of standard of care in his treatment of Jackson.
Four of those 17 violations were unconscionable, Shafer testified.
"He was not putting Michael Jackson first. He was putting Dr. Murray first," he said.
The prosecution asked Shafer for his opinion on Murray allegedly not calling 911, but instead leaving voicemails for members of Jackson's staff when the pop star died.
"A physician would not call and leave a voicemail for somebody when a patient had arrested," Shafer said. "I almost don't know what to say, that is utterly inexcusable."
In court papers filed late last month, prosecutors wrote that the Columbia University professor had strong words about Murray's care of Jackson. Prosecutors wrote that Shafer said "there is almost nothing in Murray's care of Michael Jackson that reflected the actions of a trained physician."
Shafer wrote guidelines and warnings that are included with every bottle of propofol. Prosecutors claim Murray ignored those warnings by giving Jackson the anesthetic in the bedroom of his rented Holmby Hills mansion.
Shafer told jurors he is not charging for his work on the Jackson case, in part because he wants to restore public confidence in the medication and doctors.
"I am asked every day in the operating room, 'Are you going to give me the drug that killed Michael Jackson,''' Shafer said. "This is a fear that patients do not need to have."
Other medical experts have echoed Shafer's concerns about Jackson's care.
A cardiologist testified last week that Murray's treatment of Jackson, especially the administration of the powerful anesthetic propofol, before the superstar's death deviated from general standards. During the trial's first week, a medical equipment executive said Murray lacked the proper monitoring equipment for the administration of propofol.
Shafer is likely to provide more details about the drugs in Jackson's system on the day he died, June 25, 2009.
Murray is accused of administering the fatal dose of propofol, a drug usually used in a surgical setting, then failing to properly monitor his superstar patient.
Defense attorneys claim Murray left Jackson's side for just a couple of minutes. The doctor told investigators during an interview two days after Jackson's death that he was trying to wean Jackson off the drug the pop star called his "milk."
The drug was administered after a restless night during which Jackson pleaded for something to help him sleep, Murray told investigators.
Toxicological testing done by the coroner's office determined that Jackson's death was caused by acute propofol intoxication, with "benzodiazepene effect'' as a contributing condition, a deputy medical examiner testified last week.
If prosecutors wrap up their case Thursday, the defense might begin its case Friday.
Editorial Note: Associated Press writers Linda Deutsch and Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.