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Patients speak out for Jackson's doctor on eve of license hearing

By Ted Rowlands and Michael Cary, CNN
A judge on Monday will hear arguments about whether to suspend Dr. Conrad Murray's medical license in California.
A judge on Monday will hear arguments about whether to suspend Dr. Conrad Murray's medical license in California.
  • Hearing Monday on motion to suspend California medical license of Dr. Conrad Murray
  • Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with death of Michael Jackson
  • The cardiologist's patients at his two clinics say he should keep license
  • "He's still helping me," says one patient

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) -- A California judge is slated to hear arguments Monday on a motion to suspend Dr. Conrad Murray's medical license while he faces criminal charges in the death of Michael Jackson.

Meanwhile, patients at Murray's Houston, Texas, and Las Vegas, Nevada, clinics tell CNN that the cardiologist should keep his license because, they say, he saves lives.

"I had a heart attack 10 years ago and he saved my life," said Gerry Cause, who says he drives a 320-mile round trip for his appointments at Murray's Las Vegas clinic. "He's the most compassionate man. He loves his patients."

"Dr. Murray is a good doctor, a very good doctor," said Ransom Craddock, who says he was among the first of Murray's cardiology patients at his Houston clinic when it opened. "We stand together with him in this community."

They will be paying close attention to a hearing in the case on Monday when a Los Angeles judge will listen to arguments about pulling Murray's medical license in California. If that happens, Murray's attorneys say, Nevada and Texas are likely to follow suit.

"The questions the medical boards have is whether or not they have a doctor on their hands that's a threat to public safety, and he's just not," said Charles Peckham, Murray's civil attorney. "He's a good doctor. He's a benefit to his patients. He's a benefit to public health."

Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter in February for providing Jackson with propofol -- a sleeping agent typically used for sedation during surgeries. According to the Los Angeles Coroner's Office, Jackson died of "propofol intoxication."

A court brief filed on behalf of the California Medical Board states: "the Board has pointed out it is not just his 'prescribing' practices that are in question, but his fundamental judgment and skill as a physician."

But Dennis Hix, another heart surgery patient of Dr. Murray's, told CNN, "It's just a shame what's going on."

"Everybody's innocent until proven guilty. He should be allowed to practice. He's still helping me, and I don't want to see him go nowhere," Hix said.

A contingent of Murray's supporters plan a rally at a Houston church on Monday, and some patients from Las Vegas say they plan to drive to Los Angeles during the trial to counter the Michael Jackson fans who show up at hearings waving signs calling the doctor a killer.

"He's one of the most compassionate people I've ever met. I just can't see him being the person he's painted to be," said J.D. Nicholas, who's not only a patient of Murray's but also a member of the group The Commodores, and who knew Michael Jackson.

"I think he should continue to practice. He takes good care of me. I'm in great health thanks to Dr. Murray."