You know you’ve reached celebrity status when you get a spread in People Magazine. You really have to work at getting page time if you’re not a behaviorally challenged starlet or in the midst of a celebrity divorce or marriage.
Enter Dr. Hootan Roozrokh. Remember him? He was the subject of my Doctor Power commentary on April 7th. The good doctor needed organs, but Ruben Navarro just wouldn’t die so that Roozkrokh could get them. So Roozrokh did his energetic best to help Ruben along by repeatedly pumping him full of morphine and Ativan.
It took eight hours before Ruben “frothing at the mouth and shivering” (as a witness nurse told police) finally succumbed.
Now, here’s the part that concerns me about the People piece.
First, the title: Did a Doctor Speed a Patient’s Death?
As if there’s a mystery here.
No mystery at all, in my opinion. Every report on this case unequivocally points to the fact that Dr. Roozrokh repeatedly pumped Ruben full of fatal doses of drugs after Ruben kept breathing without a ventilator. What other conclusion could there be than that Dr. Roozkroh was speeding death? He certainly wasn’t waiting for it to occur naturally, and he sure as heck wasn’t trying to prolong Ruben’s life.
Second, the red “grabber box” above the People headline reads “Organ Donation.” The piece spends a lot of time handwringing that what happened to Ruben might translate into fewer people wanting to donate their organs.
Let’s see: You want to donate your organs at some point but you’re afraid that some overenthusiastic transplant harvester won’t have the patience to wait for you to actually be dead. Or Dr. Harvester might actually expend amazing amounts of energy just to “help you along.” Afraid sounds reasonable to me.
Anyone who still thinks organ donation is always such a great idea needs to read Wesley Smith’s Culture of Death. It’s enough to set the organ donation idea back a hundred years. Perhaps it should.
Predictably, People soft-pedaled the real issue here:
Ruben was killed by a medical doctor because he would be more use dead than alive. Ruben was killed because he couldn’t defend himself or his rights as a human being. Ruben was killed because his mother was pressured, repeatedly, to permit organ harvesting.
That’s where we are, folks.
Have a severe disability? Unable to assert your rights? Don’t worry, Doctor Power can help.
The medical harvesters await.