Transplant surgeon defends actions in court

A transplant surgeon accused of speeding up his patient's death to harvest his organs got his initial day in court yesterday, with his attorney arguing that the doctor acted properly given the patient's condition. The patient, 25-year-old Ruben Navarro, already was on the verge of death, and his family had given permission for his breathing tube be removed. At issue is whether Dr. Hootan Roozrokh ordered excessive doses of morphine and Ativan in an effort to make Navarro die more quickly. In Dr. Roozrokh's defense, his attorney noted that research has found that appropriate doses of morphine and Ativan for dying patients can vary by as much as 1,000 percent, depending on numerous factors, including a patient's tolerance for the drugs. However, a critical-care expert contacted by the Los Angeles Times told the paper that the doses given to Navarro were 10 to 20 times the usual amounts. If convicted of the charges against him, Dr. Roozrokh could face eight years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

To learn more about the case:
- read this Los Angeles Times piece

Related Articles:
Surgeon charged with hastening death to get organs. Report
Surgeon under scrutiny after organ donor death. Report

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.