Surgeon Rushes Death to Get Organs

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    Don't get me wrong, I believe in organ donation. I just want heroic measures to be taken before they use my body for a scavenger hunt. :redface:

    I hate to admit it but this is the reason I don't have that little box checked on the back of my drivers license saying that I am an organ donor. I heard stories like this way back in the late 1970's.


    February 27, 2008

    Surgeon Accused of Speeding a Death to Get Organs

    By JESSE McKINLEY

    SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — On a winter night in 2006, a disabled and brain damaged man named Ruben Navarro was wheeled into an operating room at a hospital here. By most accounts, Mr. Navarro, 25, was near death, and doctors hoped that he might sustain other lives by donating his kidneys and liver.

    But what happened to Mr. Navarro quickly went from the potentially life-saving to what law enforcement officials say was criminal. In what transplant experts believe is the first such case in the country, prosecutors have charged the surgeon, Dr. Hootan C. Roozrokh, with prescribing excessive and improper doses of drugs, apparently in an attempt to hasten Mr. Navarro’s death to retrieve his organs sooner.
    A preliminary hearing begins here on Wednesday, with Dr. Roozrokh facing three felony counts relating to Mr. Navarro’s treatment as a donor. At the heart of the case is whether Dr. Roozrokh, who studied at a transplant fellowship program at the Stanford University School of Medicine, was pursuing organs at any cost or had become entangled in a web of misunderstanding about a lesser-used harvesting technique known as “donation after cardiac death.”

    Dr. Roozrokh has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyer said the charges were the result of overzealous prosecutors. But the case has sent a shudder through the tight-knit field of transplant surgeons — if convicted on all counts, Dr. Roozrokh could face eight years in prison — while also worrying donation advocacy groups that organ donors could be frightened away.

    “If you think a malpractice lawsuit is scaring surgeons off, wait to see what happens when people see a surgeon being charged criminally and going to jail,” said Dr. Goran B. Klintmalm, president of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, who added that he considered the case unprecedented.
    According to a police interview with Jennifer Endsley, a nurse, the transplant team, including Dr. Roozrokh, stayed in the room during the removal of the ventilator and gave orders for medication, something that would violate donation protocol. Ms. Endsley, who stayed to watch because she had never participated in this type of procedure, also told the police that Dr. Roozrokh asked an intensive care nurse to administer more “candy” — meaning drugs — after Mr. Navarro did not die immediately after his ventilator was removed.

    Mr. Schwartzbach said he would address the accusations in court. “I think a great many people, lay and medical, will realize they have been significantly misinformed,” he said.
    Several months after the incident, federal health officials cited the hospital for a series of lapses, including failing to grant temporary clinical privileges to Dr. Roozrokh, who was under contract with the donor network. Last February, the United Network for Organ Sharing reprimanded the California Transplant Donor Network for breaking “established protocol” in the case. The donor network declined to comment.
    Ms. Navarro has filed a civil suit against Dr. Roozrokh, the donor network and other doctors in the operating room, and has settled a lawsuit against the hospital. A spokesman for the hospital, Ron Yukelson, said a plan to correct the problems had been accepted by federal health officials.

    Ms. Navarro said she remained angry about the way her son’s life ended.

    “He didn’t deserve to be like that, to go that way,” she said. “He died without dignity and sympathy and without respect.”
    Melanie Carroll contributed reporting from San Luis Obispo, and Lawrence K. Altman from New York.
     
  2. meatpackingbubba

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    Yeah, well wait until we have a national health insurance scheme and you will find that "public health policy" will trump individual interests when it comes to YOUR health care choices.

    There was a recent article in the press on withholding antibiotics from advanced dementia patients on the premise of avoiding breeding antibiotic resistant "super bugs". Allowing the patient to succumb early to an otherwise treatable infection is justified since the tradeoff is only speeding an old person's demise. Think of the dollars saved and how this will help control costs! All wonderful I suppose, unless you're the patient.
     
  3. alex8.5

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    If this Doctor is found guilty he needs to lose his license..
     
  4. Principessa

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  5. meatpackingbubba

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    Sorry, I can't agree.

    Firstly, any hospital that accepts government funds is by law obligated to treat patients regardless of ability to pay. There are also numerous free clinics in most urban areas.

    Secondly, this being America, land of the individual, there is nothing stopping you from setting aside savings to cover your own anticipated medical needs.

    Third, there is the option of acquiring (or not) your own private health insurance.

    The concept that there is somehow a free lunch, or that it is only fair that someone else take on your health care cost because you choose not to, is not right.

    There are some of us that pursue reasonably healthy lifestyles and are less likely to be large consumers of health care. Then there are those that over eat, fail to exercise, drink to excess, and smoke, and then expect the tab for the consequences of these health endangering activities to be picked up by others.
     
  6. Average_joe

    Average_joe Member

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    That is, of course, whether you can afford it, qualify, etc.

    I would LOVE to have the option to get health insurance, unfortunately, my work never got around to giving me mine, and then laid me off. I am currently just getting by, and waiting around the three months it takes to get the state offered health insurance, which is the only one that is available to me and I really can't even afford that.


    Many businesses are cutting back on health care plans offered to their employees, it costs more to get health insurance, and often, if provides less. Maybe you have nice, cushy job that covers it, but not everyone is you.
     
  7. lttlgrllst

    lttlgrllst New Member

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    Shit, as a person who has been close to death, on life support. This is scary shit. I do think it happens's though, probably a lot more than we know.
    Damn, I'm glad my family was very vigilant.
    I could be spread out all over right now.:eek:
     
  8. whatireallywant

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  9. Bbucko

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    Not sure where you get your information from. I have lived with HIV for over 20 years: no one will sell me private insurance.
     
  10. Jovial

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    All doctors are perfect and infallible. Just kidding.
     
  11. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    Consider this. Cost of living across the board is rapidly increasing and wages can't make up the difference, even if you're actually doing okay for yourself.

    The only time I had health insurance was in graduate school, and -- trust me -- it probably required a doctor to lay out in layman's terms just exactly what I could get covered. Add up all of the co-pays and limitations for coverage, and, honestly, the value wasn't there. Thank goodness the worst thing I tend to deal with is the seasonal sinus infection, and a good bout of decongestants will knock that out in a week.

    Try watching Sicko, especially that first scene with the man who lost two fingers in an industrial accident. His insurance company declined to pay. He could get the middle finger back for $60K and his ring finger for $12K. He's got a ring finger and a mountain of debt anyway.
     
  12. Principessa

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    How the hell does he drive without a middle finger?!? :tongue:


     
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