*Lawyers for Michael Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray say he is “hanging on by a thread” and must be allowed to continue practicing medicine so that he can pay for his defense on a manslaughter charge in the singer’s death, the Associated Press repoted.

Murray’s lawyers made the statement in court papers filed Thursday in response to a bid by the California attorney general to suspend Murray’s medical license pending trial. His attorneys Ed Chernoff and Joseph Low said the effect would be devastating to the doctor who already faces a slew of financial problems.

“He is, without fear of overstatement, hanging on by a thread,” the attorneys wrote. “His ability to pay for his own defense depends almost entirely on his ability to continue to treat patients.”

Murray, who was working as Jackson’s personal physician, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges in the singer’s death from the anesthetic propofol and other drugs.

He is scheduled for a court appearance Monday at which a judge may be assigned to his case and a preliminary hearing date selected.