Suspension Puts Clinic in Jeopardy
by: Pat Hernandez, January 13, 2011 3:01:00 pm
At a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles, Dr. Conrad Murray was told to be ready to stand trial in connection with the death of pop star Michael Jackson. Murray has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter. His California medical license was suspended after the hearing, but Murray's practice is now in jeopardy. He could also lose his license to practice medicine in Nevada and Texas, where he has a clinic in here in Houston. Charles Peckham is Dr. Murray's attorney.
"It is quite likely, that the Nevada and Texas Medical Boards will research the issue where they'll look into it and they'll decide, whether or not they believe that it's worthwhile to try to take his license in those states. It is imperative for Dr. Murray's practice from his perspective, to help those patients here and in Nevada."
Peckham says the California court that suspended his license didn't get to hear from Dr. Murray's patients, which presents a big challenge.
"Shortly after the California judge issued that order, the Texas Medical Board spokesperson came out with a statement that they're fully prepared to take Dr. Murray's license here in Texas. From our perspective, we wonder if the fix is in. It challenges our understanding of first, confidentiality of the process, and it brings into question the independence of the Texas Medical Board."
He says the Board needs to make its own decision and not rely on anything that happened in California. Dr. Murray's clinic has been a fixture in northwest Houston, where Ben Mask has been a patient for years.
"My blood pressure and my blood sugar were up and down, and he got me back on my feet. I've been doing great. He's done some extraordinary things for Acres Homes. There are people that he's done heart surgery on and got them back up on their feet. There are a lot of things for the time that he's been here, that he's done that's really instrumental to the community."
And while Murray's attorney says he's afraid that the Texas Medical Board has already decided to revoke his license, Board spokesperson Leigh Hopper says that's not the case.
"Now that the judge has suspended his license in California that also gives us the authority to do something similar in Texas, and so the board is going to be considering that option."
Dr. Murray returns to court in two weeks for another arraignment.