A doctor from a transplant team is accused in an unprecedented criminal case of hastening the death of a 25-year-old disabled man last in San Luis Obispo, Calif., so his organs could be harvested, reports the Los Angeles Times. Prosecutors have filed three felony charges against San Francisco transplant surgeon Hootan Roozrokh, 33, in the death of Ruben Navarro. Statements by nurses who were troubled by Roozrokh’s actions were first reported by the Tribune of San Luis Obispo.
The documents paint a picture of disarray in the operating room, with some staffers concerned that Navarro was being mistreated and overmedicated by Roozrokh, one of two surgeons dispatched by the regional group that procures organs for much of northern and central California. For the most part, organs are not retrieved from patients until they are declared brain-dead. But that night, surgeons were attempting a different type of harvesting, known as “donation after cardiac death.” Roozrokh’s actions so troubled one nurse that she spoke up, saying, “Do you think this goes against God?”