Roozrokh Prelim Hearing: Final Testimony
Concluding testimony was provided Friday in the preliminary hearing for transplant surgeon Hootan Roozrokh, reports Sarah Arnquist of the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
- Pulmonologist Eric Schultz, MD, Ruben Navarro’s attending physician,* testified that he did not think Navarro was a good candidate for cardiac-death donation, because “he would not stop breathing for hours to days” once off mechanical ventilation. Schultz also stated that the doses of morphine and lorazepam given to Navarro were “way over the top.” During cross-examination, Schultz conceded that he only wrote in Navarro’s medical chart that the patient would not die immediately after extubation; Schultz did not define a time frame for the patient’s death. Schultz also admitted to Roozrokh’s defense attorney that the medication may have spared Navarro some suffering, given that he died 8 hours after the attempted cardiac-death donation.
- San Luis Obispo police officer Charles Riedel testified that both Sierra Vista OR nurse Jennifer Endsley and technician Celeste Tracy† witnessed a transplant surgeon inject Betadine into Navarro’s feeding tube in the OR, but they couldn’t specify whether the surgeon was Roozrokh or Arturo Martinez.
Next week, opposing counsel will submit written arguments to the San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge, and oral arguments will be presented in court on March 19th to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a jury trial against Roozrokh.
Establishing which surgeon gave Betadine to Navarro is crucial, because the related criminal charge—administering a harmful substance—carries the gravest punishment among the charges that Roozrokh faces.
*On the night of February 3, 2006, Navarro’s care was provided by covering physician Laura Lubarsky.
†The reports do not define what type of technician Celeste Tracy is; it is presumed she is an OR technician.