Skip to comments.First Trial against an American Surgeon for Killing a Patient to Harvest Organs Begins
Posted on 11/06/2008 4:07:31 PM PST by wagglebee
CALIFORNIA, November 6, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) A San Francisco surgeon is undergoing trial for allegedly hastening the death of a terminally ill patient to harvest his vital organs.
The case against Hootan Roozrokh is believed to be the first of its kind brought against an American transplant surgeon.
Rosa Navarro, the patients mother, successfully filed suit against the hospital where the patient died and received $250,000 in compensation. Now the District Attorneys office is pressing charges against the 34-year-old surgeon for dependent adult abuse, administering a harmful substance and prescribing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose.
Roozrokh is also being charged with giving the 25-year old Ruben Navarro an antiseptic called Betadine, normally administered to an organ donor after death, via feeding tube to the stomach. Some commentators suggest the antiseptic was ultimately responsible for the patients death.
Roozrokh attempted to induce what is known as cardiac death, a new criteria for determining death, by delivering abnormally high doses of painkillers in order to retrieve vital organs from Ruben Navarro. Cardiac death is distinct from brain death, an older criterion for determining death that requires a cessation of all brain function prior to harvesting vital organs.
Toronto physician and LifeSiteNews medical adviser Dr. John Shea, MD, FRCP (C), says that in order to determine if a patient meets the cardiac death criteria the patients respirator is removed while the heart is still beating.
If the heart stopped beating within an hour, the surgeon waited two to five minutes before taking out the organs. If the heart had not stopped beating within an hour, the patient would be returned to a hospital bed to die without any further treatment, writes Dr. Shea.
On January 29, 2006, Ruben Navarro stopped breathing on his own, and was put on a respirator. On February 3 he still had not recovered consciousness, though his mother claimed she saw signs of recovery.
Medical staff then removed Navarro to the operating room and withdrew his respirator, claiming that hospital policy required them to pull the plug after five days on life support without patient recovery. Navarro continued to live, however, and Dr. Roozrokh, is reported to have then told nurses, Let's just give him some more candy. The patient was given high doses of morphine and Ativan to hasten death.
Navarros heart continued to beat, and after one hour his organs were no longer considered useable. He was removed from the operating room and died several hours later.
Besides the ambiguity surrounding the actual moment of death, Dr. Shea writes that harvesting organs at either the point of brain death or cardiac death creates a conflict of interest on the part of the attending physician and fosters a utilitarian approach to life and death.
According to California state law, in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest, transplant surgeons cannot direct the care of potential donors while the patient is still in treatment. In this case, however, sources have reported to police that, contrary to that requirement, Dr. Roozrokh was directing the administration of drugs to Mr. Navarro while in the operating room.
Writing about the utilitarian rationale behind the invention of the brain death criterion, Shea says that it was no longer the interest of the dying to avoid being declared dead prematurely, but the communitys interest in declaring a dying person dead as soon as possible. Sheas criticisms would also apply to the cardiac death criterion.
The utilitarian approach to life and death that is increasingly pervading the organ donation industry is obvious from an article published this October by two Oxford scholars, which suggests that, rather than ensuring that brain death and cardiac death are indeed true death, we could abandon the dead donor rule," as LifeSiteNews reported.
We could for example, allow organs to be taken from people who are not brain dead, but who have suffered such severe injury that they would be permanently unconscious, like Terry Schiavo, who would be allowed to die anyway by removal of their medical treatment," wrote Julian Savulescu, the Uehiro Chair of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, and neonatologist and Oxford graduate student Dominic Wilkinson
Bioethics International writes that the Roozrokh case is likely to raise uneasiness among potential organ donors and could prompt doctors to shy away from a somewhat controversial practice of retrieving organs before a patient is brain dead.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Shock: Oxford Neonatologist Says Time Has Come to Consider Mandatory Organ Donation
Organ Transplant Doctor Investigated in Non-Heart Beating Donation Case
Mother Alleges Doctor Murdered Her Handicapped Son to Harvest His Organs
Charges Brought against Transplant Doctor Accused of "Hastening" Patient's Death
If the culture of death gets its way, we will see perfectly healthy people being killed for "parts".
A good reason NOT to be an organ-donor, and the primary one why I’m not.
Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.
I am incredibly suprised at this turn of events. /s
And it will not be a surprise to learn that this practice is more widespread than we now know.
>A good reason NOT to be an organ-donor, and the primary one why Im not.
You’re right. I _AM_ an organ donor, because I don’t think that I’ll be needing any of them after I’m dead; hearing something like this raises second-thoughts. The primary part of my proposition is AFTER I’m dead.
That is sick. I wonder if the voters in Oregon and Washington know this.
I wouldn’t be an organ donor, and this is the reason why.
What this doctor did was murder , there really isn’t any difference between hastening someone’s death by the administration of drugs or by plugging him full of lead.
There is a lot of social utility in making an example of this physician to deter other physicians from similar behavior.
This is why I’m not an organ donor.
Who would go to a muslim doctor in the first place? He probably still does blood letting and uses leeches.
I wouldn’t WANT an organ if it came at the expense of someone’s life.
We murder in the most horrendous fashions possible 1.5 million babies every year. And unlike the above patient, we certainly don't give them any painkillers.
With the legions of slaughtered innocents surrounding the throne of God, I'm amazed he's allowed this earth to exist.
Lest some Freeper chastize me for being insensitive to Navarro, I think we need to be filled with outrage at it all.
Liberalism needs to be put to sleep like the dog it is.
I wouldn’t put anything past anyone in SanFransicko. They all deserve each other and whatever happens to them.
This is already happening often, right under our noses.
I implore anyone foolish enough to have checked the little organ donor box on their divers license to get a new one post haste (without the check, of course). Theres too much $ to be made in the used parts business to trust anybody anymore.
As an ICU nurse, I am advising everyone to NOT sign an organ donor card!
Leave that decision to your family for AFTER your death.
The temptation is too great for some transplant surgeons to TAKE your organs prematurely otherwise.
Agree with you!
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