A respected California transplant doctor faces charges he hastened a comatose man's death to retrieve his organs -- a far-reaching case that could impact the nation's organ donation industry.
Dr. Hootan Roozrokh, 34, is accused of ordering excessive doses of drugs to expedite the death of Ruben Navarro, a 25-year-old man who had suffered from a debilitating nerve disease since he was 9, according to the criminal complaint.
On February 3, 2006, Dr. Roozrokh hurried from San Francisco to the Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center with a transplant team after receiving word Navarro would be a donor.
In a pretrial hearing last week, Dr. Laura Lubarsky, a critical-care specialist, testified she would not have ordered morphine or the sedative Ativan as Roozrokh allegedly did. She said she was called into the operating room to monitor Navarro after he was taken off life support and to pronounce him dead.