Brittany Murphy’s Dad Speaks Out
Fans throughout the world were shocked when actress Brittany Murphy passed away on December 20, 2009 at the age of 32. At the time, the coroner concluded that the actress died from pneumonia, complicated by anemia and the use of over-the-counter medications.
Murphy’s father, Angelo Bertolotti, says he was never satisfied with the autopsy report, claiming that his daughter and her husband — who died 5 months after Murphy from similar causes — had expressed fears they were being watched and were afraid for their lives. In 2012, Bertolotti sued the Los Angeles coroner’s office, demanding his daughter's hair samples so he could have a third party lab test them.
Bertolotti and his friend, investigative reporter Julia Davis, join The Doctors to discuss the toxicology report recently released from Murphy’s hair samples, which showed high concentrations of heavy metals, indicating the actress may have been poisoned.
“We want it to be closely examined. We want the coroner to reopen his inquest and to do very thorough testing to see what else might be found and what else may be determined,” Davis says.
The Doctors are then joined by toxicology expert Dr. Michael Levine, who offers his professional opinion of the new report. Does he think the results are enough to warrant a reopening of the case? “Certainly, the history is quite concerning, but when you look at the hair sample analysis itself, that’s unfortunately not super helpful in terms of figuring out a little more why she died,” Dr. Levine says.
Caring for Your Colon
It’s a procedure we’d all like to avoid. Follow pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears and ER physician Dr. Travis Stork as they face their fears and each undergo a colonoscopy. While it is recommended that everyone undergo a colonoscopy by age 50, with their family histories of colon cancer, both Dr. Sears and Dr. Travis decide to be proactive and take an early trip to gastroenterologist Dr. Jorge Rodriguez’s office.
Approximately 50,000 people die every year from colon cancer, and an estimated 60 percent of those deaths could be prevented with proper screening. “If you’re 50 or over and you haven’t had this done, it’s time to get it done,” Dr. Travis says.
A colonoscopy is a procedure that enables an examiner, usually a gastroenterologist, to evaluate the inside of the colon using a four-foot long colonoscope — a flexible tube about the thickness of a finger with a camera and a source of light at its tip. While the procedure is most often done to investigate the cause of blood in the stool, abdominal pain, diarrhea, a change in bowel habit or an abnormality found on an X-ray or CT scan, colonoscopies are also performed on individuals with a previous history of polyps or colon cancer and on certain individuals with a family history of cancer or colonic problems.
Learn more about colonoscopies, and watch as Dr. Sears and Dr. Travis prepare for and then undergo their procedures.
A Hero’s House Call
Physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist Dr. Ian Smith pays a visit to Clark, a man whose selfless act of bravery put him in harm’s way and changed his life forever.
In January 2013, Clark witnessed a gruesome car accident in which one driver was thrown from his vehicle into the fast lane on the freeway. Concerned for the driver’s safety, Clark jumped out his vehicle and pulled the man to safety, only to then be hit by a car traveling 60 miles per hour.
“I could feel each of my bones snapping, and I blacked [out],” Clark says.
Clark sustained 36 total breaks in his bones, including a triple compound fracture in his legs. His left thumb was almost completely severed from his hand. He has undergone five surgeries since the crash, and he needs an additional two surgeries to repair the extensive damage that his body sustained. His doctors say that he will be able to walk normally again in one to two years.
Watch as Dr. Ian surprises Clark with several gifts to help him while he recovers.
DIY Health Fixes
From a dislocated shoulder to a wound from broken glass, The Doctors share at-home tips for common ailments. And, learn when you should head to the ER.