Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ruben Navarro: important issues that must be discussed

Although coverage of the Ruben Navarro case has quitened down, at least until September 12, which is the day transplant surgeon Hootan Roorokh will be arraigned, Steven Drake from Not Dead Yet reminds us in this post that there are several key issues that must be discussed, issues that to date have been neglected by journalists and bio-ethicists.

Here is an excerpt:

Meanwhile, there are several important issues demanding discussion, but no bioethicist or journalist we can find is discussing them (thanks to Cilla Sluga as a source for more than one of these important questions):

1. Was Ruben Navarro really dying? In the wrongful death complaint brought by Navarro's mother, she claims the hospital told her that the hospital had a limit of five days for coma patients being on a ventilator? Could Ruben Navarro have experienced some level of recovery if he'd been given longer than five days? Is this claim true? How did she come to believe that? What does that mean about her "consent" to having his ventilator removed?

2. Can we trust the coroner's report? Cilla Sluga reports thata betadine solution administered into Navarro's intestines is toxic when taken internally. Navarro lived for hours after the alleged overdoses of ativan and morphine. Did the betadine kill him?

3. Why was no one else in the room charged with a crime? The medical professionals in that room all had a duty to prevent harm from being done to a patient. How did the medical review boards come to a decision that neither the attending physician nor the nurse who administered the injections did nothing wrong? Could they tell us what the heck they did right? What does this tell us about the medical profession's ability to police itself and discipline its members for misconduct?

Also, check out this archived episode of WBAI's "The Largest Minority," in which Steve and Cilla Sluga discuss the Navarro case.

And listen on-line to, or download, Disabled Los Angeles Man Put Down for Organs ?, a show that Steve did last week.