Jacksons – AEG trial DAY 56. NURSE ANESTHETIST DAVID FOURNIER and ‘NARCAN’ IMPLANTS. part 1
The two parts of this post are about many things at once – one of which is the importance of reading full transcripts. This I made sure of myself when reading the testimony of David Fournier, the nurse anesthesiologist, the transcript of which was recently obtained thanks to TeamMichaelJackson again.
Though Fournier testified as long ago as Friday, July 25th, week 13 of the trial to my utter surprise I found there things not reported by anyone at all – neither by the tweets from the court, nor the media.
And these things are crucial.
CHARACTER ASSASSINATION OF THE HERO
David Fournier is one of those medical professionals who are brought in by AEG to speak about the early 2000s in Michael’s life.
The selection of that period by AEG is deliberate as their goal is character assassination of Michael Jackson and this is when Michael was at his worst, and you can see it even by the pictures of him of that time.
These were several years when the exhaustion from all those ailments, his helplessness against the media and public hate all around him, his financial setbacks, his ruined hopes and the whole anguish of his life finally caught up with him and led him to the brink of a full breakdown.
We know that he managed to overcome it but it took him several years and all his incredible willpower, overwhelming sense of responsibility and birth of his third child Blanket to regain some stability in life (only to be ruined again by the 2003 allegations) and overcome the dependency on Demerol that developed in early 2000s.
The fight Michael was waging against Demerol is seen best in his song Morphine which is the most powerful anti-drug propaganda I’ve ever heard. This song should be taught at school to show the power the narcotic can have even over the most responsible and God-abiding of all people and the dead of a fight one has to wage to be able to win in a game against this devil.
Opioids are extremely addictive even when given for legitimate use and Michael is a hero that he not only completely opened up about his problem but frankly spoke about the difficulty of fighting the drug thus warning us against it. No one asked him to open up about all that ‘morphine’ and by writing that song he only made his life more difficult and vulnerable for criticism, but Michael was just like that – he spoke his mind freely and tried to warn others, even not knowing yet whether he would be able to beat this evil himself.
David Fournier said that he considered Michael’s TV announcement about his drug dependency heroic. So he perfectly knew about his problem with painkillers and they even discussed it before every procedure:
A. I think it was 1993 he went on public television and, quite heroically, I thought, made an announcement that he was dependent on medications and was seeking therapy.
Q. Did you see or hear that announcement around the time that it was made?
A. I believe so, yes.
Q. Did you continue treating Mr. Jackson after he made; that announcement?
Q. Did you talk to him about his issues with narcotic painkillers after the announcement?
A. Every time we met, yes.
Q. And what would you ask him?
A. Always what’s — “Anything new medicationwise? Any new treatments? Are you on any medication? Are you taking anything that I need to know about?”
Q. And that was before every procedure?
A. Before every procedure.
I have no doubt whatsoever that it was his true faith in God that helped Michael to overcome his dependency, so it isn’t a chance occurrence that he began to recover only when he entered that 12-step program focusing on God that was central to his treatment provided by Dr. Farshchian.
Judging by that TV announcement made in 1993 and the Morphine song written by Michael of his own free will, his dependency was actually never a secret, so what was really new to us in David Fournier’s and Dr. Farshchian’s testimonines was the way Michael managed to beat his dependency.
However this beastly AEG pretends that drugs were a big and dark secret of Michael Jackson and imposes on us this most difficult period of Michael’s life as if it were something that can exonerate them of their guilt. No dear AEG, your guilt is still there and will be there for thousands of years now, because it is white-collar nobodies like you who managed to drive Michael Jackson into the ground – Michael Jackson, the man who could not be broken even by the many decades of most vicious harassment by the whole world around him.
It is a sort of a record for AEG – “we managed to do what no one was able to before us”.
KENTUCKY CHICKEN AS THE GRAVEST OFFENCE
David Fournier produced on me the impression of a conscientious nurse anesthetist who is very thorough in his work but is extremely fearful that any problem he had with Michael might have a negative effect on the success of his medical practice.
Therefore even simple questions about the difficulty to set an IV on Michael Jackson’s veins frighten him out of his wits and are regarded by him as an embarrassment to him and his skills:
Q. Are you nervous today?
A. I’m terrified.
….Q. How is propofol administered?
Q. That means you’re putting it into somebody’s veins?
Q. Through an iv?
Q. Did you ever have trouble starting an iv on Mr. Jackson?
Q. Is that something that happened more than once?
Q. Did you sometimes have to try multiple times to place an iv for Mr. Jackson?
A. You’re embarrassing me, but, yes.
Q. Is it embarrassing to you, as you’re pretty good as placing ivs?
A. I’m pretty good.
Q. Something you do on a daily basis?
…Q. And you said there were some times it was hard for you to start an iv in Mr. Jackson. Did that require multiple attempts?
Q. Using locations other than what’s typical?
A. It would be — you would start low, and if you missed once — I think the most I ever had to stick him was three times, but usually once or twice.
With the exception of the above ‘embarrassment’ Furnier is indeed extremely good at his work – his standards are top notch and would be a great example for Conrad Murray had he be willing to listen.
However as it is often the case with those who keep to strict rules themselves Fournier’s problem is that he sets top requirements not only for himself but for his patients too and regards any step taken by them to the right or to the left from the recommended path as a capital offence requiring a firing squad.
Alan Duke also noticed that eating Kentucky chicken instead of a soup after anesthesia or going to a rehearsal instead of going home are regarded by David Fournier as the worst offences possible. He collected this and other Michael Jackson’s misbehavior in one short article:
Michael Jackson’s drug use explored in trial
By Alan Duke, CNN
July 26, 2013 — Updated 0847 GMT (1647 HKT)
Los Angeles (CNN) — A nurse who administered propofol to Michael Jackson more than a dozen times said the pop star did not appear to be a drug-seeker.
David Fournier was called as a witness Thursday by AEG Live in an effort to convince jurors that Jackson was so deceptive and secretive about his drug use that its executives had no way of knowing his health was in danger as he prepared for his comeback concerts.
An economist hired by the concert promoter’s lawyers will testify Friday in an effort to downplay how much money Jackson might have earned had he not died at age 50 — an important issue if the jury decides AEG Live is liable in his death.
Michael Jackson’s mother and three children contend the company negligently hired, retained or supervised the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter in his death — which the coroner ruled was caused by an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol.
AEG Live argues that Jackson chose and controlled Dr. Conrad Murray, who told investigators he gave Jackson nightly infusions of propofol to treat his insomnia.
Fournier, a certified nurse anesthetist, testified about an incident on June 3, 2003 in which Jackson stopped breathing while under sedation for a procedure with Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein. After Jackson suffered a “somewhat bizarre reaction” during the sedation, Klein told Fournier it might be because the singer had an “opioid antagonist” implant. It was intended to help treat a dependence on Demerol, he said.
“You expect your clients and doctors be honest with you and I felt ambushed and was upset,” Fournier testified. The nurse said it made him angry at both Klein and Jackson.
AEG Live lawyers hope jurors see the incident as evidence that Jackson was dishonest about his drug use, which would support their contention that their executives had no way of knowing about the dangerous treatments he was getting from Murray.
Fournier also testified that Jackson failed to follow his instructions in two instances after being sedated for procedures.Jackson went to a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant for a bucket of chicken instead of going home and eating crackers, he testified. Another time he went to a rehearsal for a Grammy show performance and sprained his ankle, he said.
Every instance where Jackson was given propofol was medically justified, Fournier said. The 14 times he administered it between 2000 and 2003 involved plastic surgeries, dermatological procedures and oral surgeries, he said.
He first sedated Jackson in 1993 when he was being treated for serious scalp burns suffered while filming a Pepsi commercial several years earlier, he said.
Some of the 25 times he was hired to assist with Jackson’s procedures no drugs were given, he said. He would just hold his hand and assure him it would be all right.
Jackson never asked for specific drugs and never quarreled with him, he said. All of the doctors who treated him were respected physicians, he said.
Fournier’s friendly relationship with Jackson ended in November 2003 when he canceled a procedure because Jackson was “a little goofy, a little slow to respond.” Fournier said he refused to sedate Jackson because he suspected he was lying to him about his use of drugs.
“Despite 10 years of good quality care and taking good care of him for a long period of time, he never called me,” he said.
AEG Live’s lead lawyer has said he would call as witnesses “many, many, doctors” who have treated Jackson to make their case that he was a secretive drug addict.
The trial in a Los Angeles court concludes its 13th week Friday and is expected to last into September.
At the trial the AEG lawyers spoke about all those Kentucky chicken instances in full seriousness:
Q. Do you think it’s possible that there are other times when Mr. Jackson wasn’t completely honest with you about his health status?
Mr. Panish. Same objection. No foundation, speculation.
The judge. Overruled. You may answer.
The witness. I felt that this period here in June, he wasn’t honest with me, and was not honest with me in September.
Q. Were there any instances where Mr. Jackson didn’t comply with instructions you gave him about his medical care?
Q. And what happened there?
A. Well, post-operatively, we always want — I can think of two instances. Post-operatively, we want patients to go home with an adult to keep an eye on them and stay with them for the first 24 hours. And after a procedure, I told him, “go home.” he had a caregiver and a bodyguard and a driver. And instead of going home, he went to rehearsal. And he sprained his ankle, and it was the night before or the day before the Grammies. And instead of doing his routine on television, he had to be carried on the stage in kind of a rickshaw deal.
Q. And what was the other instance where you’re aware that Mr. Jackson didn’t follow your instructions?
A. After anesthesia, we usually like people to resume a normal diet slowly. So I told him to “go home. Have some crackers, piece of toast, some soup.” he left with his caregivers, and I cleaned up the operating room. And then on my way home, I happened to drive by Kentucky Fried Chicken, and there was Michael’s limo. So I tapped on the glass, the window came down, and he was having — he and his bodyguard and driver were sharing a bucket of chicken and some biscuits. He was embarrassed; the window rolled up.
Well, I can assume that even Michael could on occasions feel hungry especially since very often he said to Fournier that the last time he ate before a procedure was lunch the prior day:
Q. In your experience, did Michael have much of an appetite?
A. Not really. I’d ask him, you know, “what did you have” — you know, “when is the last time you had anything to eat or drink?” and he would say, “lunch the prior day,” which was not unusual.
Q. Did you observe whether there were periods of time when Mr. Jackson would tend to lose weight?
A. Well, we’re talking plus or minus five pounds here, so, no, not a particular period.
Q. Is there anything that you attributed, any small fluctuation in his weight, to?
A. One time I asked him why he was down to, like, 130, and he said he’d been on tour and dancing a lot, and that’s why.
Q. Were you concerned about Mr. Jackson’s weight when it was in the 130-pound range?
A. No. He’s lean, muscular, in good shape. No.
10 YEARS OF WORK FOR MICHAEL JACKSON
The first time Mr. Fournier met Michael Jackson and assisted a doctor working on him was January 1993 which is an awfully important date for us as it shows that immediately upon arrival from the second leg of the Dangereous tour Michael underwent some serious medical procedure requiring anesthesia.
This was just on the eve of his disaster with the Chandlers whom he had the misfortune to invite to his ranch in February 1993, so let us remember the date and the two events accompanying each other. Unfortunately Fournier does not have all the records because many were destroyed due to the 7 year time limit:
Q. When did you first actually meet Michael Jackson?
A. I think because I’d established with this doctor that I was, you know, willing and available to help, three to six months later I was called to take care of Michael.
Q. So that would be — are you able to estimate what year that was?
A. I think it was January of 1993.
Q. And did you provide medical treatment to Mr. Jackson for the first time in January of 1993?
A. Most of the records have been destroyed because of the legal time limit. But to the best of my estimate, it was January of 1993.
Q. Do you have some records?
A. I have some.
Q. And did you produce those records of treatment in this case in response to a subpoena?
A. Yes, I did.
All in all Fournier attended to Michae’s medical needs for 10 years within which he provided anesthesia on perhaps 25 occasions. To a layperson this number may seem too big, but Fournier said that burn victims have hundreds of medical procedures requiring anesthesia, and Michael’s grave injuires and totally inhuman procedures like tissue expanders under his scalp made him well above an average case:
Q. And you know that Michael had had a lot of anesthesia; that he had had — he had that terrible burn that caused ongoing problems; is that right?
Q. He had had — he needed a lot of surgery to repair the burn, the scars from the burn and —
Q. Is that right? And did you know that he’d had tissue expanders placed in his skull, which were these — this sort of balloon device that expands and is extremely painful?
Q. And so you were not, again, surprised that it was difficult finding vascular access?
Q. By the way, you were asked — you were asked on this — by counsel about a normal number of incidences of having received anesthesia, correct?
Q. There’s no normal, is there?
A. I guess I’m saying an average.
Q. Yeah. Some people never get anesthesia their whole lives? Other — right?
A. And some burn patients get hundreds.
Q. And some burn patients get hundreds. And Michael was a burn patient, wasn’t he?
Q. And Michael needed — you don’t quarrel with any of the anesthesia Michael ever got in his life. You said that earlier; isn’t that correct?
Q. It was all necessary because he had severe burns and he wasn’t a normal patient for that, was he? So he wasn’t normal in the sense of the average patient, an average number of —
Q. And you knew that he had numerous procedures related to the burns after 1994 with hair transplants, tissue expanders and other procedures?
Q. And that’s what you attributed the — the lack of access to — the fact that he had had numerous anesthetic procedures?
Q. And these are burn injuries that we’re talking about that he had suffered from?
Ms. Cahan: Objection; vague.
Q. And those are painful, correct?
The witness: Correct.
Each time before starting the anesthetic job Fournier gave Michael a long talk which within a 10 year old time of their interaction was gradually reduced to 5 minutes or so. After hearing it multiple times Michael would usually say “You’ve done enough. I’ve got it”:
Q. Can you estimate how many times you treated Mr. Jackson over the about 10-year period when he was your patient?
A. Well, it depends on what you mean by “treatment.” some of the times I just did not give him any medication, I just observed him to make the surgeons happy. But in terms of total time interactions, probably 35. 30 or 35.
Q. Are you able to estimate, of that 30 or 35, how many times you actually provided anesthesia to Mr. Jackson?
A. Perhaps 25.
Q. Do you generally take a patient’s medical history prior to administering anesthesia?
A. Well, it’s important to know what is going on with the patient in terms of allergies, medications, medical conditions, prior history, weight, whether they’ve had anything to eat or drink. And it’s recommended that you take 10 or 20 minutes and sit down with the patient and gather that information. Allows you to provide a safe anesthetic.
Q. And you do that? Take — routinely take 10 or 20 minutes and talk through with someone all those pieces of information you just mentioned?
A. Yes, yes. I think, though, with Michael, in later years, as we got to know each other better, it cut down to maybe 10 minutes, 5 minutes.
Q. In addition to having a patient like Mr. Jackson sign this form, do you also discuss the risks of anesthesia with your patient before you administering anesthesia?
Q. Do you discuss the risk of death, among others?
A. I have a little speech that I give, yes, and that’s at the tail end.
Q. And do you go over these risks with your patients before every procedure?
A. Yes. However, some people, when you start the risks, they go, “I don’t want to hear about it anymore.” and you’ll see another box that says, “I don’t want to hear the specifics.”
Q. Did Mr. Jackson ever do that? Say, “stop, I don’t want to hear it”?
A. He never said, “stop, I don’t want to hear it.” he just would say, “You’ve done enough. I’ve got it.” He heard it multiple times.
Q. So you did go through the full speech with him a number of times?
A. Many times. Sometimes we wouldn’t see each other for six months or a year, so I’d go through it with him.
On many occasions during those 10 years Mr. Fournier was just standing there and literally holding Michael by the hand and doctors were happy to have him monitor Michael because if something happened to Michael it would be the end of their career. (I wish AEG had looked upon Michael in the same way and not as a ‘freak’ or some third-rate beginner who could be totally neglected, and also bullied and insulted at their pleasure).
Michael never asked for any drugs and was quite happy even if Fournier was simply there holding his hand. And he valued his safety well enough to pay Fournier for just standing there and keeping an eye on him.
The drugs were always chosen by Fournier and even by his top high standards Micahel never displayed a drug-seeking behavior:
Q. I think that’s what you said there, too, was that approximately — you said maybe like 25 times, you actually gave him some medication; and the rest 10 times were not for medication; is that right?
A. That’s an approximation, a guess, yes.
Q. And I think — I think what you may have said is that part of that was just to basically hold his hand. I don’t know if you meant that literally or figuratively, which —
A. It’s literal, and it’s not the only hand I was holding. The doctors appreciated having someone monitor Michael. He was a very important person. He was at the peak of his career. If anything had happened to him — and there are deaths in dental chairs and outpatient surgeon surgery centers. It’s very rare. But if something had ever happened to Michael, it would have been the end of their career, so they were very happy to have me there. Especially since they didn’t have to pay me, Michael paid me, they were very happy to have me there to keep him safe.
Q. And so a lot of the times when you were there, you were there just to make sure everything went okay from an anesthesia point of view?
Q. And you also said that you literally held his hand sometimes?
Q. By that, do you mean you literally held his hand?
Q. Okay. And what kinds of circumstances was that?
A. Painful injections, “squeeze my hand if you’re feeling any pain or discomfort,” just sometimes — especially with patients under light sedation, just holding a hand, having a contact, is a good thing.
Q. It is — and it — and that was important to Michael, too, wasn’t it?
Q. Having that reassurance that somebody was there who he could trust?
Q. And you felt, by the way, that he did trust you?
Q. And the times — those times that you saw him, you didn’t give him any medication and he didn’t ask for any, right?
Q. And he just wanted the reassurance that a qualified person was there?
A. Correct, should something go wrong, like a dental epinephrine injection, or something like that.
Q. And while you treated him, it was you who always chose the drugs that were given, administered, for anesthesia, correct?
Q. Michael never chose them, right?
Q. Michael never asked for them, correct?
A. Correct, correct.
Q. Michael never asked for more, did he?
Q. Michael never asked for — he never complained that he was in such pain, “you have to give me more, you have to give me more,” correct?
Q. You gave him Propofol. Michael never asked you for Propofol, did he?
Q. You felt that Propofol was the right drug to give, to administer, for these procedures?
Q. And every single procedure that you did in those 25 procedures, in each and every one of them, you called the shots as far as the medication that was being administered —
Q. — isn’t that correct. And Michael never quarreled with you about it, did he?
Q. So if anyone was going to say that Michael had drug-seeking behavior, you didn’t see it?
David Fournier enumerated the procedures Michael underwent during those 10 years. Most of them were related to the burn on his head, then came dental procedures, Botox and collagen injections, some permanent tattoo, part of which were again made in the area of his burn, but what’s surprising is that neither Fournier, nor anyone at all say a word about any plastic surgery proper the media so much screamed about when Michael was alive!
All these procedures were actually a medical necessity, and no propofol was ever given to Michael for reasons other than his medical needs:
Q. Did you take Mr. Jackson’s medical history every time you treated him?
Q. In the instances where you provided anesthesia to Mr. Jackson, was there always a doctor, physician, involved in the treatment?
Q. What types of procedures were these physicians performing on Mr. Jackson for which you administered anesthesia?
A. One of the first ones was a scalp reduction for a burn he suffered on his head, and, subsequently, a number of treatments for that. He had a couple times an abscessed tooth and root canal and some dental procedures. He had extensive tattooing of his lips, his eyes, the burn area on his head. And he had Botox and collagen and filler injections to some of the areas in his face that he wasn’t happy with.
In all fourteen cases when Fournier administered propofol it was done only in the presence of doctors and for medical procedures too, which makes roughly 1,4 occasions of propofol per year:
Q. I counted 14 different occasions on which you administered propofol. Does that sound about right to you?
Q. So you began treating Mr. Jackson in 1993. And I — you have records available for 2000, 2002 and 2003?
Q. Okay. And those are the dates on which you gave Mr. Jackson propofol in connection with medical procedures in the years 2000, 2002 and 2003?
…. Q. You spoke a bit earlier about every time you gave Mr. Jackson medical care there was a physician present doing some kind of procedure on him.
A. Correct. I cannot give anesthetic without a physician’s order.
Q. You said there were also times where you would go with Mr. Jackson to either make him, or the person performing the procedure, feel comfortable, where you didn’t actually administer anesthesia?
Q. Can you tell me the names of the doctors that you remember performing — either performing anesthesia with Mr. Jackson or being — attending a procedure?
A. Well, initially it was Dr. Arnold Klein; then there was a dentist, I think — I believe Dr. Baxley. Some of the hair transplants and scalp-reduction work, the painful procedures were done by a Dr. Bosley. There was also one who took care of him, a very well-known plastic surgeon, Dr. Gary Tearston. And towards the end of our relationship, I worked with a Dr. Lawrence Koplin.
Q. Do you know whether the people listed on this slide all treated, gave medical care to Mr. Jackson?
A. I believe they did.
Q. And do you know that either because you were present for procedures where they were taking care of Mr. Jackson, or Mr. Jackson told you they were his physicians?
A. Correct. I was either present or Michael told me about it.
Then David Fournier gives us a full breakdown of which doctor did what and even the specialty of these doctors tells us of the specifics of medical procedures Michael had:
- Klein is a dermatologist and treated Michael for his vitiligo, lupus, etc.
- Hoefflin is a plastic surgeon who took care of Michael’s broken nose, then made a plastic operation on the nose, then treated Michael’s burn and did some reconstructive surgery on his scalp.
- Dr. Metzger, an internal medicine physician and rheumatologist whose specialty is systemic lupus.
- Dr. Koplin and Dr. Tearson are board testified in general surgery, and plastic and reconstructive surgery.
- Dr. Bosley is a (famous) specialist on hair restoration who helped to restore some of Michael’s burned area. We learn that it was Dr. Bosley and not Hoefflin who was doing sculp reduction of Michael Jackson in 1993 and it could be Bosley (?) who hit the nerve on Michael’s head and sent him on the third leg of Dangerour tour with a neuroma on his head.
- Dr. Baxtey and Dr. Levin are both dentists and oral surgeons.
Q. Okay. So what kind of doctor was Dr. Klein?
Mr. Koskoff. Object to the form. What does that mean, “what kind of doctor”?
Ms. Cahan. Does he have a specialty?
The judge. Okay.
Q. I’m sorry. Does he have a specialty?
A. Dr. Klein is a dermatologist and medical doctor and surgeon.
Q. Dr. Hoefflin?
A. Dr. Hoefflin is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon.
Q. Dr. Metzger?
A. Dr. Metzger is an internal medicine physician.
Q. Dr. Koplin?
A. Dr. Koplin is board certified in general surgery and board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Q. Dr. Baxley is a dentist?
A. I believe he’s an oral surgeon.
Q. Okay. What about Dr. Levine?
A. Dr. Levine, unfortunately, passed away. He was a fine and wonderful dentist and oral surgeon.
Q. Dr. Bosley, you said, did some work on Mr. Jackson’s scalp?
A. Dr. Bosley is famous — his specialty is hair restoration. And in Michael’s case, Michael received a burn, I think, in 1984 during the filming of a commercial, was badly burned. And Dr. Bosley helped to restore some of that area and cover that up.
Q. And is he the person you worked with on the initial — during the surgeries you talked about where you provided anesthesia in 1993 for a reduction of the scalp?
A. Yes. I believe it was Dr. Bosley.
Q. Okay. And you said Dr. Tearston, the plastic surgeon?
A. Dr. Tearston, I believe, is board certified in general surgery and a very well-known plastic and reconstruction surgeon.
Mr. Panish. What’s the exhibit number on this?
Ms. Cahan. 13,474.
Mr. Panish. Thank you.
Q. Did Mr. Jackson ever tell you that he had a primary care doctor?
A. Dr. Allan Metzger, I believe, was his primary care doctor.
Mr. Koskoff: Let’s go through these people one at a time.
Q. These were not bottom-of-the-barrel doctors, were they?
A. They were well-known physicians.
Q. They were well-known physicians. They were very prominent Los Angeles — mostly Los Angeles, but very prominent California physicians, correct?
Q. Okay. Let’s not talk about him. Metzger. Did you know Dr. Metzger?
A. I met him once or twice, I spoke to him many times on the phone about Michael.
Q. And he was an internist and specialist in the field of rheumatology, correct?
A. I believe so.
Q. And then you have Dr. Lawrence Koplin. Who was Dr. Koplin?
Q. Koplin? Sorry.
A. Larry Koplin is a board certified general surgeon and very prominent and good plastic surgeon, reconstructive surgeon.
Q. And Dr. Edward Baxley, he was the dentist?
Q. And what — did you know Dr. Baxley before Michael?
A. No, no. I only met him through Michael.
Q. Okay. And Dr. Levine, who you said passed away —
A. Leslie Levine, yes.
Q. And he was a prominent person in the field of — what was his real specialty?
A. Multiple dental procedures.
Q. He was a real specialist, wasn’t he?
A. He treated a number of patients in his area. He did a lot of different things like gum and teeth work.
Q. And how about Dr. Bosley?
A. Dr. Bosley’s specialty is hair restoration.
Q. And Dr. Tearston?
A. Dr. Tearston is a very well-known senior member of the plastic surgery community, good surgeon.
Q. And each and every time you were present when one of these doctors was administering surgery — administering a procedure on Michael, did you ever, in — did you ever, in observing it, feel that the doctor was not paying attention to the procedure that he was doing?
Q. And did you ever once, when they were ordering anesthesia for him, feel that it was inappropriate for him to get anesthesia?
Q. And you’ve mentioned one of the times that you thought was a very — I think counsel asked you about Botox — Botox, why do you need it for that. And you started to talk about the use of the needle during these Botox injections. Were there hundreds and hundreds, sometimes, of needle sticks that would occur during these?
Q. During one session?
Q. And some of these were right next to the eye; isn’t that right?
A. Correct, quarter of an inch.
Q. And just the slightest motion of Michael could have caused him to lose an eye; is that right?
A. It could have caused damage to the eye, yes.
Q. And so he had to be anesthetized for those, didn’t he?
A. That is why I was requested to be there, yes, keep him still.
Q. And some of these procedures were right next to the nose, which is a very nerve-centered area; is that correct?
Q. And he needed anesthesia for those procedures?
Q. So that — so that you were not — so that as far as the doctors that you saw here, did you — would you have thought that any of these doctors would be like doctor shopping, that he was going to different types of the same people?
Q. Question — well, did he ever request to remain under anesthesia longer than you thought was necessary?
Ms. Cahan: Objection; asked and answered.
The witness: No.
Fournier also explained why they had to resort to aliases for Michael Jackson. The alias were used for their own staff because if the medical personnel saw the real name on their charts the next morning after the procedure, the news of it would have immediately hit the media.
So they let him in and out at night and before he left the building the whole staff would go out and check if paparazzi were not there. The way he described it the secrecy of those medical procedures was akin to secret operations they show in spy films.
So most of all that activity was at night… And after that someone wonders why he had to have a nocturnal way of life?
Q. In your experience, Mr. Fournier, was Mr. Jackson concerned about his privacy?
A. Very concerned.
Q. Why do you say that?
A. Because he was hounded continuously by the paparazzi. He could barely ever go shopping without being in disguise. He had to have people to protect him, to keep people away from him. I mean, he loved people, but people could be overbearing because he was so famous.
Q. Did he ever do anything to maintain his privacy when he would come for medical appointments where you were accompanying him or taking care of him?
A. We would do things in the evening. We’d have to hire staff to come in the evening, because during the day his comings and goings would be too obvious. He would come in the back way. One of his bodyguards would put an umbrella in front of the video camera so he wouldn’t be photographed. We used aliases to protect him. And before we left, we all went outside and checked to make sure there was no paparazzi or photographers there.
Q. And I think we talked earlier about other uses of names on the forms for, or at the request of Mr. Jackson, or physicians he was working with?
Q. Saw that Omar Arnold name. Were there other aliases that you used for Michael Jackson at his request, or the request of the physicians you were working with?
A. Yes. I remember Michael James, Jack James. I’d have to look at the records, but those come to mind.
Q. And that was, to your understanding, to preserve Mr. Jackson’s privacy?
A. Yes. We were doing these procedures after hours to protect his privacy and protect for his safety, too, just for the crowds. And there’s a surgical log at every institution where we keep track of every patient, and if the staff came by the next morning and saw the name “Michael Jackson,” then it would be out that he had been there. So an alias was used.
HE PUT HIM TO “SLEEP”
When talking about propofol anesthesia Fournier makes a very common mistake made by all anesthesiologists – they usually tell their patients that they will put them to sleep. It never occurs to them that an ordinary patient understands these words literally and think that the sleep under anesthesia is the same as normal biological sleep.
This is how Michael’s confusion of propofol sleep with usual sleep most probably started. Fournier repeated the word sleep so often even during his relatively short testimony at the trial that I am absolutely sure that in all 10 years of working for Michael all that talk about “sleep” was constant.
In his testimony Fournier described the propofol procedure in much detail as well as the speech he usually gave before putting Michael to “sleep”. Let us note and remember that Fournier did not speak of the specific agents to Michael (or anyone at all), so for him it was “sleep” no matter what agent was delivered during anesthesia – Demerol, Propofol or any other.
This is important as different agents produce different kinds of “sleep” – Demerol, for example, produces biological sleep, while Propofol absolutely does not (it is a coma where the brain does not undergo the usual stages of restorative sleep), however the patient doesn’t know this difference – for him any anesthesia is “sleep”, especially when the anesthetist himself says so:
A. If it’s in the operating room, an ambu bag and mask would be backup to an anesthesia machine that’s been checked out and ready to go. And or prior to 2005, a capnograph actually was suggested but not required. It’s been required since july 1, 2011. So now that’s — during the care of Michael, it was not required. And this would be just to give a bolus of propofol. I mean, to put someone to sleep. But if I was going to maintain them safely, I would add to this a computerized infusion pump that’s dedicated to delivering propofol.
Q. And you would say, “I’m going to be administering certain drugs to you”; is that right?
Q. “I’m going to put you to sleep,” correct?
Q. “But I’m going to be with you monitoring you,” correct?
Q. “And there is always a risk that something bad can happen, but I am going to be monitoring you very carefully so I feel comfortable about — about doing this, if you do feel comfortable,” right?
A. Something like that, correct, yes.
A. I don’t necessarily discuss the agents. Most people wouldn’t understand.
Q. Okay. But you tell them that — you do tell them that you’re going to put them to sleep?
Q. And after they’re — you put them to sleep, you tell them that you’re going to give them — that you’re going to be there and you’re going to carefully monitor them?
A. I tell them I’m going to listen to every beat of their heart and every breath they take, and I mean it.
When Fournier says that he doesn’t necessarily discuss the agents he is explaining to us one extremely important detail.
When we agree to a narcosis we are under the impression that we will be given some substance to make us “sleep” but generally we have no idea what substance is to be given. And we are all the more unaware of the fact that they are going to give us a mixture of different drugs. Most of us think that they will give us just “something” and if they tell us that the average anesthesia contains “11, 12, 14 different drugs” as Fournier says we will jump in sheer surprise.
Fourteen different drugs? Well, this we absolutely could not expect! However this is what Fourier is saying:
Q. And has a patient ever asked you to provide particular anesthetics to him or her or to provide anesthesia in a particular way? Do they ever say, “doctor, I think I know” or “Mr. Fournier, I think I know what kind of anesthesia I’d like, and I’d like you to give me x, y and z”?
A. Yes, people have sometimes. What people don’t realize is the average anesthetic is 11, 12, 14 different drugs. So they may — they’ll say pentothal, but they can’t do pentothal for a 4-hour case. It’s just the beginning drug. So I try to explain to them that based on their medical history and their physical exam, I’ll be picking things out.
Q. Do you let patients ever dictate what anesthesia you provide to them?
Why is it so important that none of us know that anesthesia is actually a mix of a great many drugs? Because Michael was no different from us and he also thought that he was being given a one-component anesthesia, and if he said that he did not want Demerol he was sure that he warned his anesthetist well enough. Now he will receive something different from Demerol and if it is different it will not interfere with the anti-Demerol implant he is carrying in his skin.
Like all of us it never occurred to him that in an operation involving Propofol, for example, this anesthetic may be accompanied by a mixture of 13 other drugs some of which may be similar to Demerol – other opioids, for example, and that the anti-opioid implant given to him by Dr. Farshchian could in any way interfere with the anesthesia provided by nurse anesthetist Fournier.
This is actually what must have happened when Fournier had the fright of his life when at some point he gave Michael his mix and Michael suddenly had apne (stops in breathing). Up till today he doesn’t know why it happened and he thinks it is because Michael didn’t disclose to him that information about an implant.
Could it be the reason? I think it could. But was Michael to blame for it? I doubt it – because like all of us he had no idea why he should babble about his anti-Demerol implant if he knew he would be given Propofol. He told the nurse that he didn’t want any Demerol and thought his job done at that. And if this was just not enough to know, wasn’t the doctor doing the procedure to help and inform the anesthetist about all the rest?
Now we know from Dr. Farshchian testimony that for nine months between November 2002 and July 2003 he gave to Michael five anti-Demerol implants together with a 12-step pray or medidation program to follow.
Michael was absolutely determined to get rid of his dependency and this is probably why the treatment worked. Michael went clean of Demerol though it was one of the toughest periods of his life – in February 2003 Bashir showed his terrible film and this raised an incredible new wave of hatred towards Michael which ended in his trial in 2005.
Incidentally, this also means that while Bashir was making his film in 2002 Michael was exactly at his worst because the implant treatment had not yet started – and it was when the film was shown in February 2003 that Michael was already undergoing his treatment.
The last or fifth implant was placed on April 4th, 2003 and over here let me repeat Susanne’s great observation that if those Arvizo bastards had indeed seen Michael without clothes (as they claimed they did), they should have noticed the implant too, especially since in Michael’s case it was accompanied by a rash and covered by a patch as Dr. Farshchian made a note of in his records.
No, those bastards never saw anything and this is just another of those numerous arguments to prove that the Arvizos were just some vicious clowns playing in a dirty circus staged by its director Tom Sneddon, the D.A.
While carrying that implant placed under his skin in April 2003 Michael had three medical procedures done on him.
The first two were on April 24 and May 13, 2003. Before they began Michael informed Fournier that he didn’t want any Demerol, and the anesthesia went without a hitch except that Fournier noted that he had an high tolerance to a certain drug he used. Saying that he didn’t want Demerol was Michael’s tacit but clear way of warning Fournier that Demerol was not to be used because of the implant.
Before the third procedure on June 2, 2003 Michael said to Fournier the same, that he didn’t want Demerol, and stopped at that thinking he had fulfilled his responsibility and warned the anesthetist, especially since the previous two procedures went fine – however this time there was a brief stop in breathing which Fournier could not understand. He coped with it but had the fright of his life:
A. Towards the end of our working relationship, there was one point where I asked about any new allergies or anything like that, and he said no Demerol.
Q. He said no —
A. — Demerol.
Q. Okay. Did he tell you he was allergic to Demerol?
A. No; he just said no Demerol.
Q. Did you ask him why no Demerol?
A. He said he didn’t like it.
Q. He said he didn’t like it?
A. Did not like it.
Q. Did he tell you that he had had a problem with Demerol?
Q. When you had that conversation, did you recall the announcement he had made in 1993?
A. I don’t know.
Q. Did Mr. Jackson ever tell you that he had sought any help or received any medical treatment to assist him in not using Demerol?
Q. He just told you at some point in — toward the end of your relationship that he didn’t want to use Demerol?
A. Didn’t like it, didn’t want it.
Q. Did you ever have a conversation with Mr. Jackson where he told you that he had had a procedure to block the effects of opioids?
Q. Does that refresh your recollection as to whether Mr. Jackson told you in connection with the June 2nd, 2003 procedure that he didn’t want Demerol?
It is interesting that in medical issues certain evasiveness is always present. When Michael somewhat evasively said to Fournier that he didn’t want Demerol not disclosing the reason for it Fournier equally evasively put it down into his notes as “allergic to Demerol” which he said was his clue to avoid certain drugs.
But what Michael did not know that instead of Demerol Fournier used another opioid, and the implant was evidently working against all of them. That other opioid did not work and that is why Fournier noted “a high tolerance” to it. It wasn’t the case of any high tolerance of course – opioids simply were not effective due to the anti-opioid implant MJ had under his skin, but Fournier didn’t know about it and Michael didn’t know that it was important:
Mr. Koskoff: After he started — assume the implant was in April, that one of the implants was in April of 2003. … And after that, he starts telling you that he’s allergic to Demerol?
A. He never told me he was allergic to it. He told me he didn’t like it and didn’t want it.
Q. He said, “I don’t like it,” but you wrote it in the form —
A. Didn’t want it.
Q. — where the official record says — what you wrote in the official record, it says “allergies,” and you wrote “Demerol”?
A. That’s my clue to avoid those, to avoid those drugs.
Q. And as far as — to avoid those drugs. And you would avoid drugs which have similar characteristics; is that right? Other opiates?
A. If the patient doesn’t like Demerol, you can use another drug.
Q. Yes. But — and you didn’t use an opiate with him, did you?
A. Which date are we talking about.
Q. You didn’t use any op- — did you use any opiates on June 2nd?
A. Yes; remifentanil.
Q. And that’s after he told you he was allergic to Demerol, you went ahead and gave him another opiate?
Ms. Cahan: Objection; misstates the testimony.
The witness: He told me he didn’t like Demerol.
Judge: Sir, if there’s an objection, you need to let me rule on it.
The witness: Sorry.
Judge: I think it was compound. Why don’t you re-ask —
Mr. Koskoff: I’ll start over again.
Q. Didn’t you write in the section of the form that says “allergies,” “Demerol”?
Q. Did you give him an opiate on the visit in May of 2003?
Q. And he had no reaction, no negative reaction, that time, did he?
A. Correct, except a high tolerance was noted.
Q. High tolerance. He could take a lot of it. And that’s because — and if a person had had a drug dependency in the past, they develop a tolerance for these drugs; isn’t that right?
Q. And you knew that Michael had had — come out publicly, you said, and stated that he had a drug dependency problem in the past?
When the fright took place on June 2, 2003 Klein was also stressed and told Fournier about the Narcan implant. He himself didn’t know what it was. Afterwards Fournier discussed the matter with Klein but not with Michael, because talking to him was useless – he was waking up from anesthesia and “would not remember anything” anyway.
The way he describes the incident nothing terrible happened – it was just a case of apne (gap in breathing happening to those who snore), but for conscientious Fournier it was like the end of the world.
I wish Conrad Murray were at least a bit like Fournier and had at least a fraction of his thoroughness and care:
Ms.Cagan. And who was the doctor performing the procedure on Mr. Jackson on June 2nd, 2003?
A. Dr. Arnold Klein.
Q. What type of procedure was he performing?
A. Multiple derm procedures.
Q. Did anything neurological happen at this procedure?
Q. What happened?
A. If you look —
Q. Go ahead.
A. I think there’s some little marks there for blood pressure and pulse rate marks in the middle of the page on that graph. But below that, there are some boxes. And to the left there’s three letters: s, a and c. That stands for ventilation. Spontaneous ventilation is s; assisted ventilation is a; controlled ventilation is c. And you’ll see the case starts out with spontaneously ventilating, which is what we do for monitored anesthesia care. And then at some point Michael has what, for me, was an unusual reaction in that he became apnea, not breathing enough, so I controlled his ventilation for a period of a minute or a couple minutes. We continued the procedure. It happened again. I lightened him up, and we continued with the procedure. And then there was a third point where I assisted ventilation, just placing the oral airway, or lifting his chin, and we continued the rest of the procedure spontaneously ventilated.
Q. Okay. I see three spots in here where there’s sort of a line that’s generally continuous, and it sort of dips down. Are those the three times you’re talking about where you had to assist his breathing?
A. That’s where — what I’m referring to, yes.
Q. And this is just a “yes” or “no” question. Did Dr. Klein say something to you during the procedure when Mr. Jackson stopped breathing about why Dr. Klein believed he might have stopped breathing?
Q. After Michael Jackson woke up from this procedure, did you speak to him about what had happened during the procedure where he stopped breathing?
A. He was just waking up. There was no point in discussing it with him. He had 3 1/2 milligrams of versed. He wouldn’t remember anyway.
Q. At some point did you talk with him about the fact that he had stopped breathing on his own during the procedure?
A. I didn’t speak with him, but I spoke with Dr. Klein.
When asked about changes in his medication from the previous visits Michael was correct – there were no changes from the previous two visits which were perfectly fine, so any questions can be raised only about the first procedure done in April 2003, but considering that Michael did inform Fournier “No Demerol, please” all this story looks like a mountain made out of the molehill and describing Michael as a “terrible liar” on this basis is a big exaggeration.
Mr. Koskoff: April — April 3rd, 2003, the implant had been put in. And, sir, isn’t it true that you actually had seen Michael twice — you saw him on April 24th, 2003; and you saw him on may 13th, 2003, and he did perfectly well; is that right?
Q. So that as far, at least, as the Narcan is concerned, there had been no change in his medications from the previous visit; is that correct?
Ms. Cahan: Objection; calls for speculation.
The witness: Correct; but I didn’t know — I did not know a Narcan implanted existed.
Mr. Koskoff: You didn’t know that. I know that.
Q. And as far as you know, there was no other medication that was — that was added between the previous visit and the visit in June, correct?
Q. So if Michael was asked at the beginning of the procedure in June, “Have you had any changes in your medication from the last visit?” and he said no, he was telling the truth; isn’t that correct?
Q. And then you — by the way, you have no knowledge as to whether the Narcan implant, if there ever was a Narcan implant — whether the Narcan implant had anything to do with the reaction in June, do you?
Actually even the doctors doing the procedures confirmed to Fournier that there was no change:
Q. In fact, sir, do you have any evidence at all that there had been a change in his medication from the previous visit? Do you have any evidence, one shred of evidence, that there was a change in medication?
A. The patient denied it; and I spoke with his doctors, and they said there was no change.
Q. So you have no evidence that there was a change in his medication?
Q. So wherefore do you call her son a liar?
Fournier was furious with both Michael and Klein for not disclosing it earlier. As regards Klein I agree – he should have foreseen some complications as a doctor, but as regards Michael I am not so sure. He obligingly told Fournier what Dr. Farshchian evidently told him – that Demerol was not to be used and he thought that he already warned his anesthetist well enough, especially since two times before that everything was okay.
In fact all Dr. Farshchian had to do to avoid this situation was giving Michael more general instructions that no opiates were to be used, and then MJ would have said to the anesthetist “no opiates please, I don’t like them”, Fournier would have made a note that Michael was “allergic to opiates” and the matter would have been settled then and there.
In addition to all this we also learn that Dr. Farshchian confused one implant name with another and even if Michael repeated its name to Fournier it could have probably only complicated matters (as no one knows what Narcan implant is), and from all this mess we understand that a patient is very often absolutely incapable to inform doctors correctly of what he has or hasn’t in his body, and things like that should be decided between doctors only:
Mr. Panish (sidebar): And he didn’t have a Narcan implant to begin with. It isn’t even a Narcan implant that they’re getting into.
Mr. Koskoff: And counsel knew that, too.
Judge: It’s not a Narcan implant?
Mr. Panish: No.
Ms. Cahan: I have no idea what they’re talking about.
Mr. Putnam: I have no idea what they’re saying.
Mr. Panish: It’s not a Narcan implant.
Mr. Koskoff: The Narcan implant was never put in. There are different types of implants. Narcan —
Mr. Putnam: They’re the same —
Mr. Panish: No, they’re not the same as the one that he had. This witness keeps saying Narcan, counsel keeps saying Narcan. He never had a Narcan implant. He had a different implant that has different adverse effects than a Narcan , and he didn’t even know that.
Mr. Koskoff: Dr. Farshchian didn’t know the difference. Farshchian said, on two occasions, “I put in a naloxone implant”; and then he said, “well, is that known by any –” and he said, “I think that’s Narcan .” it’s not Narcan . They’re two different entire drugs.
So a Narcan implant was not a Narcan but was something different and it was simply Dr. Farshchian who didn’t know the difference…. well, the more we look the greater it sounds.
Q. When you — when Dr. Klein said to you that he thought that Michael had had a Narcan implant in him, you had never heard of such a thing, correct?
Q. And you went home, correct?
Q. And you went and looked up — you looked it up?
A. I tried to.
Q. And you couldn’t find it?
A. Couldn’t find it.
Q. And as far as you know, there is no such thing as a Narcan implant, right?
A. I was told by two of his physicians there was one.
Q. Yeah. Well, you were told by Dr. Klein, correct?
A. And Dr. Metzger.
Q. And Dr. Metzger. Because they were told by the gentleman who testified, Dr. Farshchian? He’s the origin of it, isn’t he?
A. I have no idea.
Q. Okay. So you have no idea. That’s why I guess we have rules against hearsay. But it’s okay.
No, if even doctors don’t know what they are talking of the matter should have been surely discussed between themselves and well in advance too.
Mr. Koskoff of the Plaintiffs also thinks that the doctor doing the procedure would be in a better position to know about all these things, as well as which information is important to disclose and which has nothing to do with the procedure and can be kept private.
And matters of privacy were no small matter to Michael Jackson. The community of anesthetists is a very small one, and there is some “chatter” going on between them about who gave what anesthesia to whom, so Michael had every reason to be fearful that the story of his implants would be disclosed to the media with all the resulting consequences of it:
The witness: Yes, it’s a small community, and people did mention that they had taken care of him before.
Q. In fact, it’s a small community and you talk amongst yourselves about who you’re treating; is that right? And who you’re giving anesthesia to, you talk amongst yourselves, don’t you?
A. Very rarely.
Q. That’s not what you said at your deposition, is it? Didn’t you say under oath — “have you ever heard in the course of your four years of treating Mr. Jackson that he was receiving anesthesia from anyone other than yourself?” and you said, “a number of people in the community — it’s a small community, we talk amongst ourselves — told me over the years, yes, that they had anesthetized Michael Jackson.”
Q. And that’s true, isn’t it?
Q. But you do agree, sir, that when you’re treating someone like Michael, there is chatter in the community?
A. I would not characterize it as chatter. It’s personal, it’s private.
Mr. Koskoff: Let me show you — (reading): Do you know of any other people he called?
A. I think I know of two for sure, but it’s my impression that a lot of people in town have anesthetized Michael over the years.
Q. What gave you that impression. Your answer, “Chatter in the community.”
The witness: Okay.
Klein apologized to Fournier for his blunder. When the matter was raised with Michael he apologized too:
Q. And you don’t know whether, when Dr. Farshchian put that Narcan implant in — you don’t know what Dr. Farshchian told Michael about what the implant was, do you?
Q. You don’t know whether he told him that there was medication in it, do you?
Q. The doctor would be in a better position than Michael to know what’s important to tell you, isn’t he? … The doctor who is doing the procedure, first of all, is the person who — and who knows about the implant would be in the best position to know whether it’s important to tell you or not?
Q. Because he is a physician and he will know whether this implant even contains medication?
Q. And you — in fact, Dr. Klein apologized to you afterwards for not having told you?
A. Yes, he did.
Q. He accepted responsibility, didn’t he?
A. He and Michael both accepted responsibility.
Q. But Dr. Klein said to you that — he told you afterwards, didn’t he, that “I apologize”? That’s what he said?
Q. “I’m sorry,” didn’t he?
Q. You talked to Dr. Klein about it at that point, didn’t you?
Q. And you didn’t recall ever talking to Michael about that at that time in your deposition, did you?
A. That day, we did not talk about it.
Q. Okay. So it was later on that you had some conversation?
Before the next procedure in September 2003 Michael truthfully said to Fournier that previously he had had that implant but it was no longer there and he was clean. The procedure went great:
Ms. Cahan: I would just like to know what Mr. Jackson said to you with respect to Narcan implants.
The witness: He said he had had one, but it was out, and that he was clean and he didn’t need it anymore.
Q. Do you remember approximately when you had this conversation with Mr. Jackson?
A. Late August or September of 2003.
Q. So that was after the June 2nd procedure that we’ve discussed where he had that adverse effect —
A. I asked him about that, what was going on.
Q. And is that because it was relevant to how you would provide anesthesia to him and the procedure that you were planning for the next day?
Q. And so he said to you he had had one but it had been taken out and he was clean and fine?
Q. And did you go forward with the procedure the following day?
Q. Did he do okay?
AEG lawyers call this incident “drug concealment” while Panish said that it was exactly the opposite case – there were no drugs to conceal as Michael had been clean of them for nine months by that time. He was slightly evasive about the anti-drug type of treatment he was receiving – that’s true, but he openly told Fournier what drug was not to be used and didn’t know that all the rest of it was also important.
In fact if Klein did not know, how could MJ know that it was important?
The reason why Fournier was furious is because even now he is afraid that this incident will cost him a career, so he is trying his hardest to explain that it was none of his fault.
Okay, we got it, it was none of your fault, Mr. Fournier, but calling Michael a liar for so small a thing is a big exaggeration.
I cannot even imagine what Mr. Fournier would have said had he heard the lies told by the AEG bosses! Someone should explain to him that with so meticulous an approach to matters of truth he should not be testifying for the worst of all possible liars…
As to that situation with the implant all questions should please go to Dr. Klein:
Q. But you were more concerned because Dr. Klein didn’t tell you; is that correct?
Q. And, in fact, it was clear that Michael had confided — had told that to Dr. Klein, right?
Q. And so he wasn’t keeping it a secret from his primary treating physician, correct?
Ms. Cahan: Objection; assumes facts not in evidence as to who his primary treating physician was. There’s testimony it was Dr. Metzger.
Q. Well, Dr. Klein was the surgeon in this case; is that right?
Q. He was the captain of the ship, correct?
Q. And Michael had told the captain of the ship that he had had this drug and the captain of the ship didn’t tell you –
Q. — until midway through the procedure, or until the procedure was almost over?
Q. And that was very upsetting to you; is that right?
Q. Part of the reason it was upsetting to you is that you felt your whole career was on the line there?
A. Yeah. Anesthesia is, you know, an interesting business, and you expect your clients and their doctors to be honest with you, and I felt ambushed, and I was upset.
Q. And you felt that your career was on the line. That’s the reason you felt upset, is your career was on the line?
A. I could handle the situation.
Q. Well, didn’t you say in your deposition — this is the — the Lloyd’s deposition, page 73 — Didn’t you say, under oath, “Michael Jackson was at the peak of his career, he was getting Grammy awards by the armload, he was probably the most recognizable person on the planet, and I’m anesthetizing him. My whole career is on the line“?
Q. And that’s — and that’s — and that was in response to the question about what Dr. Klein told you. You were angry at Dr. Klein for that, weren’t you?
A. I was angry at Dr. Klein, I was angry at Michael, and I was angry at anybody that was involved that didn’t tell me what was going on.
Q. And you’re still mad?
A. No. Got over it.
TIRED? THEN THE AEG CASE IS NOT FOR YOU
I know that you are tired after reading so long about nothing. But we must understand AEG too – they are making the most of the little they have. They have nothing else to say – so Fournier’s story does not stop at that but proceeds to one more moment in autumn 2003 when Fournier thought that Michael spoke too slowly to him, and suspected him of being untruthful and cancelled the procedure scheduled for that day after which they never saw each other again.
However at that moment Michael was indeed clean as he had just successfully finished the anti-drug treatment given to him by Dr. Farshchian. To place things in time let me say that it was exactly the moment when Larry Feldman was taking the Arvizo case to Tom Sneddon and Sneddon was already harboring his revenge plans against Michael.
Michael didn’t know about it yet, was full of hopes for the future and was getting ready to release the Number Ones album in November that year. In October 2003 he went to Las Vegas to shoot a video with a telling name “One More Chance” and by the time the new nightmare chapter opened in his life he stayed there for almost 4 weeks (so the Neverland raid was not in his presence).
And though sometime in August-September 2003 Fournier actually refused to work for Michael due to some unsubstantiated suspicions (or being again just frightened for his career) his refusal to give Michael anesthesia looks to me like a model example of how a really independent contractor should behave.
An independent contract like Fournier (or Conrad Murray for example) should be able to make his own decisions and refuse any pressure from the outside, no matter who it is – Michael Jackson, Doctor Klein or even an entity like AEG Live, for example.
Fournier’s example is actually a good argument to those of Michael’s haters who say that Michael could always have his way – first of all he absolutely could not as the example of Fournier shows it (even despite the 10 years of their close association), and secondly the responsibility for all decision-making in the medical profession always rests with the doctor, and not the patient or someone who hired Conrad Murray like AEG did.
The patient cannot always know what’s best for him and it wasn’t the patient who gave a Hippocratic oath – it is the doctor who did. And in this respect the nurse anesthetist David Fournier is a real model to follow.
Q.You said earlier — Mr. Koskoff was asking you about west side anesthesia. That’s your company?
Q. You’re the sole employee of that company?
Q. So when you work with physicians to provide anesthesia, what is that working relationship? Are you employed by the physicians?
A. No. I’m an independent contractor.
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The second part of this post will cover the sidebar that followed David Fournier’s testimony. Over there a good deal of new information was revealed and I find it totally incredible that up till now no one has yet noticed it.
Here is the full transcript of David Fournier’s testimony from the great TeamMichaelJackson:
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Alice alerted us to the problem – TeamMJ need our help!
TeamMJ say they have run out of funding as of this week – so these next few will be their last unless more funding comes through. We know how valuable their work and the transcripts are, so if you can, please donate. Every little bit helps. To donate via Paypal, email firstname.lastname@example.org