On Friday, July 1, 2016, ABC News reported that they successfully sued the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois. This suit was used to force the airport to release the recording from Prince’s emergency landing because it could be used to explain possible medical malpractice. The “Mirror” stated, on Friday, April 15, 2016, Prince’s plane was en-route from Atlanta, Georgia to Minnesota, after he performed a sold-out show, when his private jet needed to make an emergency landing when the star was found unresponsive around 1 a.m. CDT.
It was reported, the recordings started with a simple statement: “Chicago, send us an ambulance.” At this point, Prince was nearly lifeless and this occurred within only six days of his tragic death. The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office claimed, Prince self-administered his deadly dose of Fentanyl. Prince’s death was formally ruled an accident from Fentanyl toxicity, which was the same autopsy result for another famous performer, Michael Jackson.
According to the “Daily Mail,” Prince died on Saturday, April 21, 2016, at the age of 57. Since the release of the recordings, there has been a formal investigation into Prince’s primary physician, Dr. Michael Schulenberg, and addiction specialist Dr. Howard Kornfeld. The release of the recordings from Prince’s emergency landing have been used to implicate possible medical malpractice. This result was not determined by what was in the correspondence, however, what was not. As an example, the representative speaking on behalf of the performer’s private jet was calm and cool. It has been discussed that the calm demeanor of the speaker could have suggested the performer had more than one overdose. Allegedly, the lack of panic makes it seem the overdose was a common occurrence for the performer.
The air-traffic controller for the Quad City International Airport requested more information about why an ambulance was needed. The representative replied with the simple response, “unresponsive passenger.” The individual was also careful to never mention the name of the passenger and did not give any basic demographic details, including age and sex until the jet was moments from landing.
It has been argued that Prince was treated by emergency responders for about 10 minutes before the ambulance began its trip to the hospital. It has been noted, the star’s jet landed at the Quad City International Airport at 1:17 a.m. and the ambulance left the airport at 1:35 a.m. CDT. This implies he was not stable enough to move upon arrival. It was also noted the emergency responders administered the “save shot,” which has become a common practice to combat the increased prevalence of opioid overdoses.
Prince was treated at the local hospital but was back on his jet within a few hours after he was refused a private room. The performer died at his Paisley Park estate outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This was the jet’s final destination the night it made an emergency landing and raised the question of possible medical malpractice.
The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office has questioned how the performer was able to get his hands on the surplus of painkillers which resulted in his death. The question is, did Dr. Schulenberg write prescriptions for his patient, or help him acquire the medication through other means? Additionally, Dr. Kornfeld is under investigation and he claims he never even met Prince.
Representatives, speaking on behalf of Prince, came in contact with Dr. Kornfeld, after his emergency landing, to seek out the care of the best addiction specialist. Unfortunately, Dr. Kornfeld was unable to make the trip to Paisley Park, so he sent his son Andrew instead. Both of these medical providers have allegedly serious issues with the possibility of medical malpractice, after Prince’s emergency landing.
It has been suggested, the fact Dr. Schulenberg worked for the North Memorial Medical Center up until Prince’s death but resigned shortly afterward is an admittance of guilt. It has been inferred that Prince did not have any known ailments to warrant the high-level painkiller, which can cause suspicion of medical malpractice all on its own. At the same time, Prince’s former fiancée Sheila E stated Prince suffered from injuries acquired during his multiple performances.
By Kristina Lasher
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Daily Mail: Investigators probe Prince’s doctors over claims they wrote prescriptions to help star get drugs which led to his opioid overdose
ABC News: Air Traffic Control Audio Details Prince’s Emergency Landing Days Before His Death
Mirror: New recordings from Prince’s plane collapse days before his death reveal haunting conversations
Image Courtesy of Scott Penner’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License