Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Kaiser Kidney Transplant Doc Under Investigation

By Chris Thompson
Wed, Feb 28, 2007 at 3:28 PM

According to a troubling and riveting account in the Los Angeles Times, a Kaiser Permanente transplant surgeon who worked at the hospital giant's troubled kidney transplant program is being investigated on charges that he hastened the death of a San Luis Obispo patient in order to harvest his organs. When Ruben Navarro was found nonresponsive at a long-term care facility, he was taken to a nearby hospital, where doctors told his family he would not live and secured their consent to use his organs. At that point, transplant surgeon Hootan Roozrokh was summoned to the operating room and was allegedly administering drugs to the expiring man. When Navarro didn't die promptly, Roozrokh allegedly ordered more pain medication in order to speed up his demise; he even allegedly said, "Let's just give him some more candy." Navarro died the following day. The Times also reports that the California Medical Board is investigating the conduct of Dr. Arturo Martinez, who was also present during the procedure. Martinez was the surgical director of Kaiser's entire transplant program. Martinez declined to comment, and Roozrokh's lawyer declined to go into details of the incident.

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