Transplant Doc Accused of Quickening Patient's Death

Organ-donation controversy erupts
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2007 5:56 PM CDT

A San Francisco surgeon is facing unprecedented felony charges of accelerating the death of a 25-year-old disabled man to harvest his organs for transplant. The doctor denies the charges that he acted without a legitimate medical purpose, the LA Times reports, but the controversy is bad news for transplant doctors nationwide.

Transplant surgeons aren't allowed to handle patients until they've been declared dead, but Hootan Roozrokh was charged yesterday with ordering a nurse to administer excessive amounts of painkillers and sedatives to Ruben Navarro, who had been declared terminally ill weeks before. The patient was taken off life support but survived another 7 hours, making his organs unfit for donation. (Read more medical malpractice stories.)

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