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Questions remain in Anna Nicole Smith's death

Filan: We might not have seen the end of this investigation

'The manner of death was accidental'
March 26: Dr. Joshua Perper, Broward County, Fla., medical examiner, talks with MSNBC's Contessa Brewer about how he reached the conclusion that Anna Nicole Smith died from an accidental overdose.
  Anna Nicole Smith
The short, tragic life of the former Playboy playmate and model.

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Susan Filan
Senior legal analyst

What do you get when you have a psychiatrist, a nurse, a body guard, and a boyfriend, plus a woman with 105 degree fever?   A death that should have been, and could have been prevented. 

When Anna Nicole Smith’s fever spiked to 105 degrees, why didn’t her psychiatrist, who prescribed antibiotics for her, take her to a doctor, to a hospital or call 911?   Why didn’t those closest to her insist that she get proper medical attention? 

Dr. Perper, the Broward County Medical Examiner who performed her autopsy, seemed satisfied with the explanation that she was an adult who had the right to say, “I don’t want a doctor, I don’t want to go to the hospital.”   But if someone is that ill, are they thinking straight?  If she knew her choice was to go to the hospital or to die, what would she have chosen?   If she was not suicidal, as Dr. Perper indicated, then she would have chosen to go to the hospital, not to die.  Anna Nicole was a person known to self-medicate, known to take too many prescriptions in too high a dose.   So why was she left alone, sick, in a hotel room that was a virtual pharmacy?

Why didn’t Anna Nicole’s nurse check on her in her hotel room on Thursday, the day she died?   It seems she was left alone in her room from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. when she was found dead in her bed?  Why did Howard K. Stern, who awoke at 10:00 a.m., and had to help Anna Nicole to the bathroom because she was too weak to go alone, take his shower, dress and leave her?  

The medical examiner’s report seems to raise more questions than it answers.  Something does not add up for me.

It just doesn’t make sense that a 39-year-old woman, who had just given birth to a baby girl, who had just lost a son, who was so depressed she was on three antidepressant/anti-anxiety medications, who had a history of overmedicating and mixing prescriptions, of taking methadone, of swigging liquid chloral hydrate, would be left alone to die of an accidental drug overdose.


Here is what bothers me: On Tuesday, Anna Nicole Smith had a 105-degree fever.   Her psychiatrist, not her doctor, prescribed her with an antibiotic, but did not insist she go to the hospital.  No one did. 

I do not think we have heard the end of this.  I think we will see further investigations, lawsuits, and perhaps loss of medical licenses as a result of Anna Nicole’s tragic and preventable death.

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