Brittany Murphy's death preventable: Coroner

Tragic actress Brittany Murphy would probably have survived if she had gone to a doctor in time, a coroner said.

The 32-year-old 'Clueless' star’s December 20 death from pneumonia was accidental, Assistant chief coroner Ed Winter said.

It was likely her death could have been prevented if she had seen a doctor, he said, but he noted that she did have an appointment with a physician a few days after she died.

Prescription drugs and anaemia also played a role in the death, the coroner’s office said.

Mr Winter would not say what types of drugs were involved and said further details would be released in several weeks when the report was completed.

He also said there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

Murphy died after collapsing in her Hollywood Hills home. Her husband, Simon Monjack, and her mother, Sharon Murphy, have said the actress did not abuse prescription medications or have an eating disorder.

They told investigators she had been experiencing flu-like symptoms in the days before she died.

Mr Monjack said last month that his wife took several prescriptions, including an anti-seizure drug, and had been taking over-the-counter Robitussin for her recent sickness.

Dr Michael Baden, a former chief medical examiner in New York City, said the quantities and type of drugs Murphy was taking were key to understanding how she died.

“One doesn’t die of pneumonia, usually, that quickly,” he said.

He said the use of some prescription medications could lead to pneumonia.

“It sounds more like it’s a drug-related than a natural pulmonary pneumonia,” said Dr Baden, who did not work on the Murphy case but has been an expert witness in numerous high-profile deaths.

More in this Section

Friends star Jennifer Aniston urges fans to wear a maskFriends star Jennifer Aniston urges fans to wear a mask

Awkwafina and Zendaya among 819 invited to join film academyAwkwafina and Zendaya among 819 invited to join film academy

Russell Crowe leads tributes to veteran TV writer and director Carl ReinerRussell Crowe leads tributes to veteran TV writer and director Carl Reiner

Tributes to Fawlty Towers actor Louis Mahoney following his death at 81Tributes to Fawlty Towers actor Louis Mahoney following his death at 81


Lifestyle

It is the fourth of May, 2007. I am coming home from work, tired and scrolling through images of Trapani, Sicily - our holiday destination in a few weeks. Nothing remarkable about the journey, until I read the story of a missing girl in Praia De Luz, Portugal.Learning Points: Give Madeleine McCann's family the space to put their lives back together

More From The Irish Examiner