San Francisco surgeon hardly to avoid jail

A San Francisco transplant surgeon accused of hastening the death of man so his organs could be harvested has been ordered to trial for felony dependent adult abuse.

A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday at the end of an eight-day preliminary hearing that there was enough evidence to go to trial on the lone felony charge.

But the judge dismissed two other felony counts involving administering of drugs against Dr. Hootan Roozrokh stemming from the failed organ harvest at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center two years ago.

The judge says there's no evidence Roozrokh had administered or ordered Betadine, morphine and Ativan for Ruben Navarro, a 26-year-old man who was suffering from a debilitating neurological disease.

State law prohibits transplant doctors from directing treatment of potential organ donors until they are declared dead.

Navarro was in a coma when he was admitted to the hospital after suffering a heart attack. The man's mother authorized harvesting of his organs.

Roozrokh was charged in July 2007 with three felonies.

That time Roozrokh has pleaded not guilty. If convicted of all charges, he could face up to eight years in prison.