A few years ago Ohio began asking drivers at the time of license renewal whether they wished to become organ donors. I remember that our family had several discussions on the topic; one of my relatives expressed concern that if he said yes the medical community might not be so interested in keeping him alive.
I remember smiling and reassuring him, “Oh, they don’t take them until you’re dead, and there are many rules and regulations over transplant programs, I don’t think you should worry.”
I still believe that, but accounts like the one below, reported yesterday by CNN.com, are most unsettling.
Thousands die every year waiting for organ transplants that never happened, mostly because donated organs are in such short supply. If this physician is indeed guilty of the crime of prematurely ending the life of a potential donor, he deserves a stiff sentence. Not just for the victim and his family, but for all the additional victims his actions will create. Potential donors shouldn’t have to fear that if they say yes, the medical community might not be so interested in keeping them alive.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A surgeon was charged Monday with prescribing excessive drugs to a comatose, disabled patient to hasten his death and harvest his organs for transplantation.
Prosecutors in San Luis Obispo County said Dr. Hootan Roozrokh, 33, of San Francisco, gave a harmful drug and prescribed excessive doses of morphine and a sedative to 26-year-old Ruben Navarro, who died in 2006.
He was taken in a coma to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles, in 2006 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest. Although Navarro was found to have irreversible brain damage and was kept on a respirator, he was not considered brain dead because he still had limited brain function.
The day before Navarro died, his family gave approval for a surgical team to recover his organs for donation, though the procedure never occurred because Navarro did not die within 30 minutes of being removed from life support. He died the next day
Read the full text on CNN.com
The Associated Press reports that Dr. Roozrokh has been found Not Guilty in this case by a California court. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hhpmLm1R9_xt1bRRdborCLyf0DMAD955F8J80