09/01/09 — Singer's guilt: Another example of personal responsibility out the window

View Archive

Singer's guilt: Another example of personal responsibility out the window

There are plenty of people who can absorb some of the guilt in the cacophony of tragedy that led up to the death of Michael Jackson.

And there is no doubt that the doctors who overprescribed or misused drugs that contributed to his death should be rendered unable to practice medicine again.

But as we are passing out blame, save a little bit for the singer himself and for every self-indulgent Hollywood spoiled brat who thinks that just because he or she is famous, the rules of medicine -- and of law -- don't apply.

Michael Jackson was no better than a street-level addict hunting for a fix. The only difference was, he had the money to maintain his habit -- until it killed him.

A man who is addicted to medications like he was could not have been a good father -- it is simply impossible for that to be true. For children to witness this kind of behavior -- and possibly be exposed to its aftereffects as they likely were -- is not good parenting.

And then there are those who sat by and watched it happen.

There is no way that members of this man's entourage and family did not have some inkling that something was going on. Some of them have even suggested that they tried to talk to Jackson about his dependence on drugs.

They are guilty, too.

There will be much pontificating about Michael Jackson's death and calls for justice in the coming weeks.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if, along with those calls, we also heard someone talk about personal responsibility and morals, duty and honor as well?

Then, perhaps, Jackson's example might actually save the life of someone else headed down the same path.

Published in Editorials on September 1, 2009 10:20 AM