New details have been disclosed about the death of Brittany Murphy with the release of a statement by the Los Angeles County Coroner. The actor died suddenly of a heart attack as 2009 came to a close, calling into question whether an eating disorder, drug abuse, or the illness loved ones said she’d been suffering from prior to her death were the cause.
The coroner’s office has answered that question — to some degree — in its conclusion that Brittany Murphy’s death was accidental and caused by a dangerous combination of “community acquired pneumonia,” “iron deficiency anemia,” and multiple drug intoxication.
Many prescription medications were reportedly found by investigators on Murphy’s nightstand. While some sources say that the drugs were given to treat the flu-like symptoms, People reports that her husband, Simon Monjack said other medications were among those recovered at the scene. Monjack said his wife was taking the painkiller Vidoprofen, the antidepressant Fluoxetine to treat severe menstrual cramps, and that the others were his own for treatment of a recent seizure.
Both Monjack and Murphy’s mother Sharon have denied that the actor had a drug problem. They’ve also denied rumors that Murphy suffered from an eating disorder, attributing her death to a congenital heart murmur that she’d been diagnosed with and treated as a teen.
The coroner’s office will release a full report in the next few weeks. However, there still seem to be many unanswered questions about the sudden death of this 32-year old woman. Was the anemia spurred on by an eating disorder? And although the drugs are noted by one coroner’s office official as “only prescription and over-the-counter meds,” was the combination of all these medications a factor in this fatality?
Clearly, privacy issues and public relations will envelope these remaining questions. And perhaps, now that her death has been ruled accidental and the cause pinned down, the details are less important than the fact that it could have been avoided altogether.
“This death could’ve been preventable. Murphy was planning on seeing a doctor, but she unfortunately passed away before she did. This was a case of a person with pneumonia who was anemic who was taking medication when she should’ve been getting medical treatment.” Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the Los Angeles Coroner’s office told People.