A doctor hoping to harvest a dying mans organs for transplant ordered him to receive massive doses of morphine and a sedative, it was reported Friday. State and federal officials are investigating whether the doctor tried to hasten the death of Ruben Navarro on Feb. 3, 2006, at 160-bed Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Navarro, 25, was given 200 milligrams of morphine and 80 milligrams of Ativan in two doses at the order of a transplant surgeon, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a report from federal regulators looking into the case. The San Luis Obispo County sheriff-coroner, local police and the state medical board also are investigating.
The amount of drugs given was between 10 and 20 times a usual dose,' said Philip Barie, president-elect of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. I dont think Ive ever given doses of either drug in that amount.
Navarro did not die within 30 minutes of being removed from life support, so his organs could not be harvested. He died the next day.
The Medical Board of California confirmed last week that it was investigating Hootan Roozrokh, a physician who was working that night for a regional organ procurement group.
It is against state law for transplant doctors to direct treatment of potential organ donors until they are declared dead. -- by the Associated Press