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Jackson Family Orders Second Autopsy While County Coroner Awaits Toxicology Reports

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Photo by via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Photo by via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
Following the release of the body of the late icon Michael Jackson from the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, his family ordered a second autopsy which was completed by a private pathologist yesterday afternoon here in Los Angeles, reports LA Now. Although the County coroner had ruled there was no foul play or evidence of "exterior trauma," the full report remains incomplete as they await toxicology tests that will take weeks to process. Questions about the circumstances contributing to Jackson's episode of cardiac arrest at his rented Holmby Hills home Thursday, as well as the role his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, played on scene before the 9-1-1 call was placed, are swirling around the death of the 50-year-old star. Many questions were raised publicly by family friend, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who commented on camera yesterday:

"When did the doctor come? What did he do? Did he inject him? If so, with what?" "Was he on the scene twice? Before and then reaction to? Did he use the Demerol? It's a very powerful drug. Was he injected once? Was he injected twice?"

There are advantages to a second and private autopsy, including "giving the family a chance for answers before the official autopsy results are released by the county," and that "a private pathologist can get results from a private lab in a week or two," as opposed to the four to six week wait from the county, according to an expert. An additional advantage for the family is that they may find the "person they’ve hired [...] will talk to them in greater length or more detail than county authorities might be willing to do."The downside, however, is that the more rigorous nature of county proceedings is what makes the information garnered "a chain of evidence that will be admissible in court." The time it takes "also allows coroner's officials to review medical records, prescriptions and other factors that will help them to best determine the cause of death." Confusion is likely to arise, as well, if the family chooses to release the results of the private autopsy ahead of the results obtained by the county.