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Texas, Nevada medical officials may pull Conrad Murray's license

Medical boards weigh taking action after ruling by judge in doctor's trial over Michael Jackson's death.

January 13, 2011|By Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
  • Dr. Conrad Murray listens to the prosecution's case during his arraignment in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Dr. Conrad Murray listens to the prosecution's case during his arraignment… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

A day after a Los Angeles judge yanked Dr. Conrad Murray's medical license for his role in Michael Jackson's death, officials in two other states said they were evaluating whether to follow suit.

A spokeswoman for the medical board in Texas, where Murray runs a cardiac clinic, said the ruling by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor "gives us the authority to do a similar action."

"We certainly have the option of suspending him," said Leigh Hopper, the Texas Medical Board's public information officer. She said the board was awaiting an official confirmation of the judge's ruling before deciding whether to proceed against the physician.

In Nevada, where Murray had a cardiology practice until going to work for Jackson, a medical board official said the agency normally "takes reciprocal action" when the medical board of another state strips a physician of his license.

But Murray's case is unique because he lost his license as a condition of bail set by a judge rather than as the result of an investigation by the state medical board, said Edward Cousineau, deputy executive director of the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners.

"We need to review our statutes and regulations to know if there are any grounds for suspension or disciplinary action," he said.

Pastor revoked the license at the request of the Medical Board of California at the conclusion of a six-day hearing in which prosecutors presented evidence that substandard care offered by Murray led to Jackson's death.

The judge said allowing the doctor to keep his license "would constitute an imminent danger to public safety," given testimony about Murray's conduct, which included administering the dangerous anesthetic propofol without proper monitoring.

Lawyers for Murray are considering whether to appeal Pastor's decision, said Charles Peckham, the doctor's civil attorney.

Murray has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter. His arraignment is set for Jan. 25.

harriet.ryan@latimes.com

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