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Witness says Jackson's doctor broke rules on care

Repeated and flagrant violations of the standard of care by Michael Jackson's doctor led to the singer's death, a medical expert testified yesterday.

Dr Steven Shafer told jurors the lack of proper medical equipment and the absence of notes and medical records by Dr Conrad Murray, along with a breakdown of the patient-doctor relationship, were factors in the death.

Dr Murray was acting more like Jackson's employee than a physician who should have rejected the singer's requests for the anaesthetic propofol as a sleep aid, Dr Shafer said.

"Saying 'yes' is not what doctors do," he testified. "A competent doctor would know you do not do this."

The Columbia University professor and researcher gave jurors a crash course on propofol, the powerful anaesthetic used in hospital settings that has been cited as Jackson's cause of death.

"The worst disasters occur in sedation and they occur when people cut corners," Dr Shafer said. In Jackson's case, "virtually none of the safeguards were in place," he added.

Dr Shafer is expected to be the last prosecution witness in the involuntary manslaughter case against Dr Murray.