The wait for tox results: Jackson versus Gans

  When the Las Vegas media went through the long wait for the coroner’s toxicology report on the death of Danny Gans, there was no immediate context for how long it was supposed to take. Gans was a high-profile autopsy for the Las Vegas coroner, but he was not the victim of violent crime. The coroner’s office said it would take five to six weeks and that’s just about what it turned out to be.
  Now, legions more journalists are playing the waiting game for toxicology results on Michael Jackson. And the wait could turn out to be very nearly a tie.
  The Clark County coroner’s news conference on Gans was on June 9, 40 calendar days from the entertainer’s death; 27 business days if you subtract weekends and Memorial Day.
  Jackson’s toxicology results originally were targeted for the end of this week, but officials are now saying maybe next Wednesday. Today is the 36th calendar day since he died, or 25 business days. Wednesday would make it 42 days.
  The real comparisons will start when the world learns the level of detail, disclosure and transparency on Jackson’s results. Jackson’s toxicology results apparently will come with full disclosure and consent from his family, since there is a probe into criminal activity.
  The Gans news conference turned out to be a cagey game of how much information Coroner Mike Murphy was legally obligated to release in lieu of the family’s consent to make the complete report public. There was no context for the facts that were released, a bare-bones explanation: that Gans died of a toxic reaction to the opiate hydromorphone (usually sold as Dilaudid) combined with hypertensive cardiovascular disease and a condition that thickens the blood.
  Murphy maintained he was not obligated to say how much hydromorphone was in Gans’ system, whether it was legally prescribed, or what other drugs Gans might have had in his system. With the Jackson investigation appearing to hone in on a possible enabler, Las Vegas Dr. Conrad Murray, it will be very surprising if the toxicology results are equally restrictive.

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