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Surgeon Accused of Speeding Death of Man to Harvest Organs

A surgeon in California is accused of prescribing excessive drugs to a disabled and brain-damaged man to hasten his death and retrieve his organs, The New York Times reports.

Ruben Navarro, 25, already was near death by most accounts. But law enforcement officials in San Luis Obispo, Calif., say Dr. Hootan Roozrokh gave improper doses of drugs to the man in an effort to speed up his death in February 2006 and retrieve his organs more quickly, according to the report.

Whether Roozrokh 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" is unclear, according to The Times.

And the surgeon, who studied at a transplant fellowship program at the Stanford University School of Medicine, has pleaded not guilty to three felony counts related to the death of Navarro. If convicted, Roozrokh could face eight years in prison, it is reported.

Click here to read more on this story from The New York Times.