Michael Jackson's doctor can keep his medical license after a judge declined a request from the state's medical board to bar Dr. Conrad Murray from practicing medicine in California.
The California Medical Board wanted the judge to order Murray, 57, to "cease and desist from the practice of medicine until final conclusion of the pending criminal proceedings." Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor announced Monday afternoon that he did not have the authority to revoke Murray's license.
Murray's attorneys fought the restriction, arguing that it would prompt authorities in Texas and Nevada to take similar action. They argued that it would be "financially and personally devastating" if he was ordered to stop practicing medicine in California while the case is under way.
Deputy Attorney General Trina L. Saunders said Murray, whose primary practice is in Houston, had promised not to practice in California, but there was nothing preventing him from doing so.
During a Feb. 9 court appearance, Judge Keith Schwartz ordered Murray not to administer any strong sedatives -- particularly propofol -- to patients.
Murray was at Jackson's side when he died June 25 at age 50 of propofol intoxication. The singer, who was gearing up for a series of concerts in London, used the powerful sedative, which he reportedly called his "milk," to sleep.
"Dr. Murray's financial difficulties as a result of the investigation into this case have already been well publicized," his attorneys, Edward Chernoff and Joseph Hawkins Low IV, wrote in their March 31 response to the request. "He is, without fear of overstatement, hanging on by a thread."
Murray got some positive publicity when he came to the aid of a young woman who fell unconscious while on the same commercial flight he was on in May. The incident was mentioned during Monday's hearing as one reason why Murray should be allowed to keep his license.
Several of Jackson's family members attended Monday's hearing.