Keeping with our royal theme this week we are going to look at the death of singer-songwriter Prince. Prince Rogers Nelson, more commonly known as Prince was born in 1958 in Minnesota. Prince had a long and flamboyant career. He is considered to be one of the greatest artists of his generation and had a wide vocal range. His songs, such as 'Purple Rain' can still be heard on radio stations today despite being released in 1984. Prince tragically died in 2016 aged 57 due to an accidental fentanyl overdose.
Prince was famously a member of the Jehovah’s Witness religion. Jehovah’s witnesses are prevented from receiving a blood transfusion as they consider it to be against God’s will and if they do accept a blood transfusion the individual would be abandoned and shunned by the church.
In the weeks prior to his death, Prince faced some health issues and was having difficulties with his hip. Surgery was required to attempt to fix this problem, but Prince refused as it would require a blood transfusion which went against his beliefs.
In the weeks leading up to his untimely death, Prince saw a GP for influenza and on the morning of April 15th became unresponsive. In the hospital, he received naloxone, a medication used to block the effects of opioids. So, it was apparent that Prince overdosed on medication. He left the hospital against medical advice and discharged himself. So, to deal with the pain and to allow him to continue as normal, Prince took what he thought was paracetamol, a common over-the-counter pain killer.
However, what he received was a counterfeit and was actually paracetamol laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more powerful and lethal than heroin. It is unknown how Prince received this medication and there is not enough evidence to prosecute someone for his death.
Prince’s death has been ruled as accidental and no foul play was involved in his death. However, his death could have been prevented. Still following his religious beliefs, his hip problems could have possibly been treated using prescribed medication or perhaps a bloodless procedure to fix his hip surgically.
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