It took an incredible amount of time (4 months) to know how Tom Petty died. The famous singer songwriter died last October, and we now know that he died of an accidental drug overdose of several medications. But the reality looks really awful to me, as it seems that his death should have been easily avoided.
Petty, 66, was suffering several ailments, and in particularly, he had a fractured hip, which worsened to a more serious injury when he insisted to continue his 53-dates tour. Since the pain must have been unbearable he was taking several prescribed painkillers such as 2 types of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, as well as oxycodone (another opioid), alprazolam and temazepan (2 benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety) and citalopram, an antidepressant.
‘On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full-on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication,’ declared Dana Petty, his wife, and Adria Petty, his daughter, according to CNN.
The medical examiner’s news release says that Petty died because of ‘multisystem organ failure due to resuscitated cardiopulmonary arrest due to mixed drug toxicity’, adding that the manner of death was ‘accident’.
Petty also suffered from coronary artery atherosclerosis and emphysema, but fentanyl is the same drug which killed Prince by the way…
How are we still there? How are we still prescribing synthetic opioids to an ex-heroin addict – Petty had talked about his struggle with heroin addiction in 1997 – and how aren’t we monitoring the patients better (especially those with a past drug addiction) in order to prevent an overdose?
‘He died from doing what he loved,’ said his daughter to the LA Times… but this is not as if he had an incurable disease, why didn’t the doctor(s) order him to slow down, have his hip surgery and cancel his tour. I don’t care how much Petty insisted to finish his tour, an intervention was necessary and he never should have been allowed to perform with a broken hip for 53 dates. Doctors should have talked to all the people who were involved in the preparation of the tour and this should have never happened. Of course, greed may once again have played a huge role.
I don’t understand why people aren’t more enraged by the results of the autopsy, the fact that Petty was given the tools to mask his unbearable pain with medication for such a marathon tour until he dropped dead is, in itself, simply outrageous. I want to be clear, I am not judging Tom Petty for taking drugs to ease his pain, he basically sacrificed his body and life for his art, I am terrified that doctors allow him to kill himself this way.
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