The Lion and the King

tedjacko1In the last month, the world lost two iconic figures: Michael Jackson and Senator Edward Kennedy.   The King of Pop and the Lion of the Senate, both these beloved figures left behind a message that has at its core, wisdom for those in the healthcare field.  Follow me over the fold to discuss the thread that ties these two stories together. Senator Ted Kennedy was a staunch proponent of healthcare reform and spent his lifetime of service in the US Senate in pursuit of the goal of an American universal healthcare system.  If the current legislation under consideration makes it through the process with a robust public option offering affordable coverage to all Americans, then Senator Kennedy’s life’s work will have been properly commemorated.  Michael Jackson was an inspiration to music fans on all seven continents and his work touched millions.  While he brought so much joy to so many, it was clear that – as is often the case with the most sensitive and talented artists – he suffered with deep emotional troubles and dealt with these issues through substance abuse.  His untimely demise, the likely result of the powerful operating room anesthetic that he had been using as a sleeping aid, is a reminder to us of the place of ethics in the administration of medical counsel and treatment.  That the LA coroner’s office has ruled Jackson’s death a homicide speaks to the failure of his medical advisors to take a principled stand in the face of their patient who, although one of the entertainment industry’s most powerful people, was pressuring his doctors to further enable his dangerous addiction.  This ethical lapse on the part of Jackson’s doctors likely cost the star his life. So as a nation mourns the loss of the Lion and the King, let’s take a moment to learn the lessons these lives have to offer.

13 Responses to “The Lion and the King”

  1. Lori Boyer

    Ted Kennedy is somewhat of a miracle. Being diagnosed with brain cancer, and yet, still fighting for something he truly believed in – health care for others. He truly is an inspiration and his fellow senators should take some of that inspiration and use it wisely.

    Michael Jackson was certainly a talented performer. It goes to show that money can buy anything and people are willing to do what ever they want based on their status of fame. He met his demise, unfortunately. Some many others like him have also, Heath Ledger and Anna Nicole Smith. It goes to show that they are human just like us and carry the same burdens as we do. However, because of the light we place them under, it makes it harder for them to deal.

    Both men will be missed by the contributions that they would have been able to give.

  2. Joanna O'Brien

    Interesting tie between the two of these men. It is amazing that in this great country, we do not have affordable healthcare for all. I strongly feel that it should be a right as a citizen to have health care. Something!! I know my husband lost his job 1 year ago. Fortunately, the structure of his buy out is allowing us to keep our medical benefits for 2 years. As a family of four, that is hugely important to us. If we were to cover ourselves with our own insurance or COBRA, it would be beyond the realm of possibility to do so financially. Ted Kennedy’s fight for health care for all was admirable.

    Michael Jackson was definitely an icon but we all knew he was troubled for how long? I mean, just look at what went on with his nose alone! Seriously, were was the help for him and the intervention from his family? With all of this medication use and abuse going on, how was he even able to keep his children? The coroner’s office may have ruled it a homicide but I think everyone could see this coming one way or another.

  3. Tremone Smith

    Senator Ted Kennedy has always been an inspiration for me. He championed causes that affected the middle and lower class. Even though he was a part of Camelot, he never forgot the regular people. He worked tirelessly for health care reform, because he felt that everyone is entitled to health care. Health care should not be a privilege. Even after his brain cancer diagnosis, he kept fighting for what he believed in. We need more people like him everywhere, not just in government.

    Now, Michael Jackson was a tragedy because all the money in the world didn’t keep him safe. He needed people around him to tell him no occasionally, but there are always people willing to succumb to the lure of money. The doctors who supplied him with all of the various medications should be in trouble, not just the most recent doctor. A person without Michael’s means could not fool a doctor into giving unauthorized medicine. I really don’t think I could go to any doctor and ask for a powerful anesthetic to help me sleep. If more people had morals this would not have happened.

  4. Stacy Williams

    I would like to make a comment about the Michael Jackson issue, this scenario just goes to show how important it is to follow all healthcare procedures. In this case, I think money outweighed ethics and morals. Their is now a legal and ethical dilemma.

    Stacy Williams

  5. Jane Snowberger

    Ted Kennedy was very powerful but, was instrumental in blocking true health care reform in many cases. He used his power to allow health care to stagnate.

    Michael Jackson, was a victum of stardom, his father, the media, and his wealth. It is imparative to include in any heath care reform:
    1. Strict regulation on prescription drugs and delivery of the drugs.
    2. Physicians have forgotten professional code of ethics, when enormous money is involved, and their oath of “DO NO HARM”. They need to be held accountable for their actions.

  6. Bibi Shavone Narayan

    Senator Ted Kennedy was stronger than we can imagine, battling brain cancer and surviving to the age of 77 was spectular. He was a brilliant individual.

    I would like to focus on Micheal Jackson, I think he’s a true miracle maker. This man dedicated his life into making a better place for children, even fake allegiations couldn’t break him. He was stronger than even with the love of his fans exceeding more than ever. Take a minute to recognize what he has done for the nation, within and abroad. Most individuals in the entertainment business cared about gaining fame and wealth while MJ freely gave more back to society. He encountered tons of personal problems that we’ve all seen making headlines, but everyone has a life to live and how to you choose to live yours should be your decision not the media’s! He’s has been in the public’s eyes for many many years and have achieve numerous awards for his good deeds. I’m a HUGE Micheal Jackson fan and his legacy will live on in the hearts of all his fans.

  7. Gia Cioffi-Norment

    Frankly, I find it saddening that in this country we settle for two men, of little moral character to call icons. Senator Ted Kennedy lied his way to staunch political power, and took “victims” with him. I don’t find that “stand up” as far as a well threaded moral fiber. How can a political figure take the life of another, lie about it, achieve such grand stature, and we the general public accept this behavior? His mission to “offer affordable health coverage to Americans” is so unbelievably hypocritical to the basis of Respect for Persons. I believe we’ll have the American public to thank for affordable health care overall.

    Michael Jackson was a victim, with the choice and means to change his “victimized” status. Instead he uses his power, wealth, and smarts to continue to dig a hole deeper with the ground at the top getting narrower. I don’t find this “iconic” I find it sad. Here we have a man we consider “smart, a real troubadour. But, instead of setting an example to all the youth he loved so much what is the message left? Oh yes, he’s a victim … an icon … I think it would sound a lot better if … Michael Jackson Icon … his generous contribution to Rehabilitation Centers Nationally saved many lives!

    I’m ready for attack!

  8. Since learning at the Allen School, I have learned that we as people do depend too much on medication. Michael Jackson was a great entertainer and you would have never known that he had a drug problem. Whether it be over the counter or prescription. He became dependent upon it. I have learned that pharmaceutical drugs should be taken as prescribed and not over indulged in. As I have learned through my course MIBC05 that the reason we take drugs for a specific time is because the body also as to eliminate what the drug treatment helped. If we continue to use that drug past the time required we are doing serious harm to our bodies and our immune system weakens.


  9. I just wanna post my comment about this article..

    In Michael Jackson’s story,yes he an icon but because of the bad issues he made I think he is no longer be an icon.A lot of people specially young people loves him but look what he did to some young people he did an harassment but because of his riches he never go to jail

    In Senator Kennedy’s story, I can say that he did a great job though he’s kinda autocratic but I think he is so effective to a leader.that”s all I can say

  10. I just wanna share my comment about this blog. In Michael Jackson’s story that yes, we can say that he is a icon in this times and a lot of people know him and aspired him as a superstar or “king of pop” but when the bad issues came out about him. I, personally I really disappointed to him because of what he did to the young people though they deny it but because of his riches he used his money to not go in jail. I was sad for the children that they didn’t get the justice.

    In Senator Kennedy, I don’t know him but I know that he is a good leader.

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