That's the answer given by cardiologist Dr. Alon Steinberg today when asked by the prosecution whether or not Dr. Conrad Murray was still liable in Michael Jackson's death if the pop star had given himself the dose of propofol that ultimately killed him.
And while that seems like a pretty explosive statement in and of itself, that's only one of the blows Murray's defense absorbed on day 11 of his trial on an involuntary manslaughter charge...
Never Mind: Defense attorney Michael Flanagan informed the court today that their camp no longer planned to argue that Jackson may have ingested propofol orally. (Presumably, testimony yesterday that no traces of the anesthetic showed up in Jackson's mouth, esophagus or stomach affected this decision.)
Kaboom: Steinberg, who was on the review team that determined the California State Medical board should suspend Murray's license for gross negligence, testified that Jackson would still be alive today if not for Murray. Game, set...match?
Every Minute Counts: Even if the defense's suggestion that Jackson dosed himself holds water, "We don't give opportunity for a patient to self-administer," Steinberg said. "When you monitor a patient, you never leave their side, especially after giving propofol. It's like leaving a baby that's sleeping on your kitchen countertop." Steinberg further concluded that Murray deviated from an expected standard of care on multiple occasions: "It's basic knowledge in America, you don't have to be a healthcare professional, that when someone is down you need to call 911 for help. Every minute counts."
Rules of Thumb: Fellow Medical Board reviewer Dr. Nader Kamangar, a specialist in pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine, concurred with Steinberg that Murray's conduct as a physician was unacceptable in Jackson's case. "It's imperative for the physician to be observing the patient at all times; this is just the basics of medicine," he said. First off, Kamangar testified, he doesn't know of any "reasonable or prudent" doctor who would be giving his patient propofol at home. And second, Murray's failure to call 911 immediately after he found Jackson unconscious was "extreme and unconscionable," while his CPR technique was "highly irresponsible." Brain cells start to die after four or five minutes without oxygen, Kamangar said, reiterating that life-saving procedures have to be undertaken immediately when a patient stops breathing.
It's Just Wrong: Both Kamangar and Steinberg took the stance that Murray treating Jackson for insomnia with propofol was beyond the pale. "Beyond comprehension," "disturbing" and "unethical" were a few of the choice words Kamangar used. Anesthesiologists are highly trained specialists, and one is always present when propofol is administered in a hospital, he said.
Done Already? The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case tomorrow. Sure, it's been 11 days, but...how time flies!
E! Online will be livestreaming from the courtroom Thursday starting at 8:45 a.m.