April 12, 2024

Medical malpractice in the music industry: Notable suits and court cases

Medical malpractice in the music industry: Notable suits and court cases

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Medical negligence is something that no one can ever want to be a victim of, but unfortunately, it cannot be predicted. Surprisingly enough, even the biggest A-listers deal with this injustice.

Although healthcare practitioners should be exemplary individuals everyone trusts, it is not always like that. They may commit mistakes (and it is only normal since they are also human beings) – the thing is that these errors can cost one’s life. The damage can be disastrous, and no one can avoid that, not even celebrities who allegedly have all the money in the world. History has taught us that the amount of money you have has nothing to do with such tragedies and that the only thing we can hope for is to end up in the hands of a competent doctor.

From misdiagnosis, medication errors, and hospital infections to surgical mistakes and unauthorized procedures, medical malpractice is a vast domain that implies negligent medical use. And although such cases happen quite often to ordinary people, they generate a real buzz when occurring in the fame arena. Throughout time, we have witnessed numerous medical malpractice cases, but the most famous are:

Michael Jackson

You may have heard about the pop legend Michael Jackson at least once. But what has medical malpractice to do with the musician’s death? It was revealed that Michael Jackson died because of several drugs in his organism, and Propofol was one of them. This drug is so powerful that it is used only in surgical cases. But how did the drug enter the musician’s organism? You may be surprised, but his doctor Conrad Murray habitually administered Propofol to Michael to help them fall asleep and have a peaceful sleep through the night.

The physician was eventually arrested as being liable for the celebrity’s death. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison, the maximum permissible sentence for such a crime. Plus, he was banned from practicing his profession in California and Texas and ordered to pay restitution of no less than $100 million to the musician’s family.

It has been thirteen years since the tragic events, but one thing is for sure – Michael Jackson’s memory will always dwell in our souls. And even if his death circumstances were odd, for we all know that the pop star had a few plastic surgeries, we hope he was done justice.

More often than not, such interventions require a certain amount of finesse and expertise, so it is evident that not all doctors can provide such services. That is why it is highly recommended to find a competent and trustworthy physician when looking for plastic surgery or any other surgical procedure to avoid wrapping your head around medical malpractice cases and similar aftermaths later, in case you’ve had such bad luck to come across a poorly prepared doctor. The same precaution and consideration are advised to be given in more such situations, like when you’re pondering enrolling in medical school. If you’re down to learn well and get good grades in chemistry, physics, biology, and other similar courses, proceed to learn more about the industry to further determine what position you’d confidently fulfil. 

Donda West

Not many may have heard about Donda West, but everyone knows her son – the rapper Kanye West. It is believed she died because of failed surgery, and if we look at the evidence, it is quite relatable. Donda West died just a day after the physician Jan Adams performed tummy tuck and breast reduction surgery. No one expected such a tragedy, all the more such a sudden death. It was eventually found that Kanye’s mother died of heart failure, and a series of post-operative factors might have contributed.

However, no court case took place, as Dr. Jan Adams was not sued for medical malpractice. The circumstances are unclear since the evidence of his fault is so obvious. Moreover, the doctor was found with multiple malpractice suits from 2006 to 2009, eight medical negligence claims in Orange County alone. Adams was even caught while driving under the influence, and consequently, he handed over his medical license in 2009. And on top of that, West’s physician served eight months in prison due to a third DUI condemnation in the same year. It is just unbelievable how such healthcare practitioners are allowed to perform their jobs when such people should be an example of professionalism and compassion.

Elvis Presley

The Rock and Roll star Elvis Presley died of heart disease in 1977 and at an early start. The medicine then was not as advanced as today, so further tests regarding his death were not immediately conducted. Several years later, it was discovered that the true cause of the singer’s death might be drug intoxication. Although the initial autopsy hid the existence of drugs in Presley’s system, later toxicology reports showed multiple opiates in the musician’s body, among which Demerol, Percodan, and Quaaludes. It was found that the star’s doctor George Nichopoulos prescribed him addictive medications to control his ongoing dependence. The physician eventually admitted that he gave the celebrity such medications to stop him from taking illegal drugs. Although he is initially accused of prescribing drugs to the Rock and Roll star, he is discharged shortly after.


The American singer, filmmaker, and songwriter Prince was also a victim of medical malpractice. Or, at least, that is what they say. The star died of an accidental synthetic opioid overdose, but what actually led to this overdose is still unclear. Some believe doctors prescribed him drugs to help him fight various medical conditions, while others think he used cocaine and other drugs.

As you can see, no one is spared from witnessing such disastrous, sometimes lethal, mishaps and injustices. Celebrities are involved in medical negligence cases, too, although it is often believed they have access to the most competent doctors out there.

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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