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Organ Transplant Doctor Investigated in Non-Heart Beating Donation Case

SAN LUIS OBISPO, March 9, 2007 ( - The Los Angeles Times reports that San Luis Obispo police and the Medical Board of California are investigating the conduct of a transplant doctor suspected of hastening the death of a man on respirator in order to harvest his organs more quickly. Organ donor agencies are worried that the investigation could hurt the public's perception of organ donation.

Dr. Hootan Roozrokh, a transplant surgeon with Kaiser Permanente's defunct kidney transplant program, is being investigated for allegedly having ordered excessive doses of pain medication to speed the death of Ruben Navarro. Police said Mr. Navarro had been "near death" when he was taken to hospital from a long-term care facility. He was put on a respirator and when they were told he was dying, his family agreed to allow his organs to be harvested.

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