African Children Menaced By European (Organ Harvesting) Charity Agencies – The Zoe’s Ark Project By Ogu Eji Ofo Annu

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African Children Menaced By European (Organ Harvesting) Charity Agencies – The Zoe’s Ark Project

Ogu Eji Ofo Annu


This all began suspiciously the last five years with the sudden attention paid to child adoption in Africa by western public figures. Just like out of the blues, the Angelina Jolis of this world and the Madonnas were making high profile highly publicized adoption in Africa. It dovetailed in neatly with the persistent paternalistic wet-dream fantasy imposed on Africa and Africans by western psycho- sadistic imaginaton.

But those high profile adoptions were set up to re-emphasize the hopelessness of life within Africa. They were set up to illustrate the so-called ravages that AIDS (that diseased hallmark of moral decadence) had supposedly wrought in Africa, namely through the destruction of the flower of African prime of maturity leaving millions of unloved children at the vagaries of a merciless fate.

But all that was just the beginning of the new western diabolism, which had been so deviously developed and was about to be deftly implemented. The international public opinion was to be hoodwinked and manipulated into accepting the international transfer of millions of children from Africa into Europe and America, for “adoption.” Adoption?

And here begins this outrageous story. The west has wasted its youthful generation and they do not hold any promise. The system makes it so hard to have and raise children so many millions opt out due to economic considerations. The western population is on the decline. There is little prospect of any natural increase in birth rate to offset the population loss. Immigration is used to maintain the population balance.

At the same time, millions of westerners are sick. Sick from the decadence that daily marks their life. Sick from the over use of active chemicals and mechanicals which they thought had provided them with this great advantage over the rest of humanity. In the western world there is a health crisis of a gigantic proportion.

The rich and middle class of the western world especially are sick from their over self abusive life style. They are wasted with cancers and organ failures. They are laid low by internal decay which threatens their significant internal organs such as livers, hearts, kidneys, even testicles etc.

There is no known cure for many of those conditions except for organ replacement. However, modern medicine as it is practised in the west has advanced to a point where organ replacement has become routine. The rotted out organs of decadent men and women are replaced through the scientific skills of the western surgeons. The only constraint on this practice was the shortage of organs in the market.


Acceptable organs are generally obtainable from victims of traumatic deaths such as car crashes or firing squads. The organs have to be obtained almost immediately before or after the death of the victim to ensure that they are useable. The main problem with this source stems from the fact that (1) Not enough people have opted to donate their organs on death; (2) Cultural norms and mores compel relatives of those accidental death to refuse organ transfer and (3) Many people are scared of opting in for organ donation in the fear that over-zealous doctors would rather prefer to preserve their organs (only freshly harvested ones are useable) for the organs network than making a spirited attempt to save their lives in the event of a serious accident.

Organs of people who died from prolonged diseases or from old age are generally unsuitable for use in organ transplant market since they are often sickened or beyond the acceptable level of optimal performance.

As such, the most preferred organs were those obtained from children. One can be sure then that those body parts were young, robust and vibrant, fully functional and long lasting.

There is thus a scarcity of organs in the market. Also most western government placed a ban on commercial organ transactions (to prevent the development of unethical practices) so the only route to obtain an organ replacement is the agonizing wait on a long list of potential recipients whose only hope lie in the sudden violent death of another person that had volunteered his organs to the organ banks on death. Many sick people died waiting for those organs to arrive.

Well, you can thank capitalists for figuring out a way to serve the market. Some budding capitalists arrange for quick visits to far off countries like China, India and Brazil where it often appears that organs are much more available though their sources are not often validated as benign. Many street children have thus disappeared or met violent deaths at the hands of criminal body parts dealers scavenging for organs and body parts.

This in turn created a huge boom in the organ trafficking market. This is a bludgeoning trade assessed in terms of hundreds of billions of dollars.

According to Keith Harmon Snow, “Organ trafficking is the trade in kidneys and other organs—a rampant global trade—that is driven by elite high-paying customers in industrialized nations who can afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a life-saving organ. Children and sometimes adults in poor countries are often trafficked for organ “donations”, though most are unwilling donors who do not survive the “donation.””


Everyone has heard of Darfur. That tragic place in Sudan where horrors and genocide were commonplace. Darfur suddenly appeared out of the African desert of Sudan and had become a thorny international issue in the last few years.

Some rebels sponsored by outside interests have taken to arms, demanding secession from their other Black African brothers in Sudan who have been illegitimately painted as some bloodthirsty “Arabs” killing “the sub-human I mean the sub-Saharan negroids.”

Since its ascent to international notoriety, Darfur has been and will remain a center of international conspiracy, espionage and treachery. The war is a foreign sponsored war of destabilization to accelerate the carve-out of a mini desert oil republic like Kuwait susceptible to the manipulations of the west. So far this plan has not worked, but not from lack of trying.

Amidst the confusing dusts of accusations, recriminations, attacks and counter attacks, other sinister plans were about to be implemented. One such plan was nipped in the bud, and the perpetrators were caught with their pants down. The western press suddenly fell mute. The unmasking was too terrible to endure. The incident took place in Chad near the border of Sudan’s Darfur where all sorts of low lives have gathered for the killing and destruction that occur in the wake of war, and the opportunities provided for even more heinous crimes. Some of these low lives were affiliated with a group called Zoe’s Ark Project.

The Zoe’s Ark Project

According to this report filed by Keith Harmon Snow:

…”The Zoe’s Ark project began fundraising April 28, 2007 to “evacuate 10,000 orphans facing certain death” to France and the United States. Some 300 European’s paid 2000 Euros ($3450) each as “donations” toward logistics costs to receive an orphan. French news reports have said the group raised and spent 550,000 Euros ($US 802,000) on the operation.

After the airplane was intercepted before its departure to France the UN High Commission for Refugees determined the children “were living with their families in communities”—they were neither from Darfur nor were they orphans—and their health was not a serious concern.

On October 24 a group of families were waiting at the airport at Vatry, Marne, France, for the first planeload of children. The plane never arrived. It was stopped as it was preparing to take off from Abeche, near Chad’s border with Sudan, and the 17 Europeans on board were arrested.

The Zoe’s Ark NGO was reportedly provided logistical support by the French military, and they had made numerous trips to villages on the Darfur border offering enticements and taking children. Their access to war-torn regions of the Chad/Darfur border was secured through participation in the international relief consortium and its security apparatus…”

Fake Bandages, fake “war wounds”

According to reports from international investigators, the officials of Zoe’s ark had forged identifications for the children, they had faked injuries by making them wear blood caked bandages. The officials used the fake identifications and bloodied bandages to justify the fake sense of urgency over the need to fly out the children for immediate medical attention in France.

Further investigation revealed that the illiterate parents of the children (who were in fact Chadian) had given their children to Zoe’s ark upon a firm commitment that they were just being taken to N’djamena the capital of Chad for free schooling. They were promised that their children would be returned to them at the end of each school term.

As such, it became obvious that a very evil, malicious plan had just been accidentally thwarted. Zoe`s ark had no consent from the children’s parents to take them out of the country. Those heartless French men and women had changed the children’s identity through forgery and their diseases and injuries of war were completely non-existent. They were children in peak health. Good resources for organ donation!

Due to the high profile nature of the case, and the tangled web of conspiracy surrounding it, investigators were devoted to following the trail of treachery right up to its source to untangle the hidden motivation behind this dastardly kidnap attempt on Black African children in the middle of Black Africa.

Based upon the outcome of investigation and confession of the suspects, the Chadian President himself Idriss Déby alleged that Zoe’s ark project was a devious kidnap plot, which would have led to child slavery, pedophilia and organ trafficking.

President Deby described the aid group’s operation as ‘child trafficking:

‘Their aim is to kidnap the children from their parents, to steal the children from their parents and sell them to pedophile organizations in Europe, and even perhaps to kill them and sell their organs.’

Behold, a bunch of French citizens invaded Africa in these modern times with unlimited funding and logistical support, aiming to steal away healthy African children for use as body parts to stock their depleted internal body organ inventory. What horrors!

Sweets, Biscuits and Pills

According to the Time Reporter, Adam Sage the children who French charity workers claimed were orphans from Darfur said they had been bribed to leave their homes with sweets and biscuits.

Mariam, 10, one of the children in the attempted kidnap saga said her mother was dead but her father was alive. “A car came with two whites and one black man, who spoke Arabic. The driver said, ‘Come with me, I’ll give you some money and biscuits and then I’ll take you home’,” she told reporters.

“We were taken to the white people’s house and they gave us medicine – small white tablets. I was not ill. All the children were given pills. They told us that we would no longer be able to go home.”

Unicef confirms the attempted atrocity

The president of the French national committee for UN children’s agency UNICEF confirmed that many of the children appear to be Chadian, rather than Sudanese orphans.

The children additionally appeared to be in good health, despite the official designation of the aid operation as being on medical grounds. UNICEF officials confirmed that bandages had been put on the children to make them appear as war victims.

The children are currently in an orphanage in Abeche where they are being cared for by local aid workers and UNICEF staff.

‘Many of the children cry at night and call for their parents,’ one UNICEF aid worker told the BBC on Monday.

Africa Outrage

Outraged Chadians on the border with Sudan who had already been questioning the motives of scores of foreign aid groups that work with Darfur refugees appeared justified. Huge protest marches were organized by ordinary Chadians to denounce this brazen attempt to kidnap, murder and exploit the organs of the innocent African children.

The few Western press articles that have covered this story have been very brief, and several complained that a “mob” of Chadian mothers were protesting, the unstated implication being that they were unruly misfits whose outrage and concern about “rich white European” with security details child trafficking their children were misconceived.

Meanwhile, President Gaddafi of Libya received a briefing on the incident from President Idriss Derby of Chad. The Libyan President expressed outrage at the evil calculating nature of the Zoe Ark Project.

A top official in Sudan’s main ruling National Congress Party speaking from a position of knowledge with the aid of privileged intelligence briefing stated that this by Zoe’s Ark attempt to fly out more than 100 African children was clearly a cover for organ trafficking.

“The question is why these children were being taken to the West? Perhaps to provide organs such as hearts and kidneys to elderly patients,” Nafi Ali Nafi, number two of the NCP, told a party news conference.

“Other than that, the affair underscores a decline in moral values of those who falsely pretend to defend human rights,” added the vice president of the NCP, which is led by Sudan’s President Omar al-Beshir.

“I cannot believe France did not know,” said Nafi, despite denials from the French authorities.

The Economics of It

Some white man or woman had paid $3,000 per African child wholesale for the stealing of African children, and the reason is black market organs.

The owners of Zoe’s ark would have made a killing literally. The internal organs of a 12 yr old are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. One kidney would cost $5,000 in the organs black market for body parts. Two kidneys would cost $10,000.

Besides the kidneys there are also liver, cornea, heart, lung, marrow, kneecaps and bones etc., everything useable is removed and sold.

The kidnappers get $3,000 a kid, and the total costs of all the organs could easily fetch $150,000 – $200,000 for each healthy child.

There were 103 children targeted for this attempt. Zoe Ark had planned to ultimately “rescue” more than 10,000 African Children.


In all, 17 Europeans were arrested in the eastern Chadian town of Abeche on 25 October but 11 others – three French journalists, seven Spanish flight crew and a Belgian pilot – have since been repatriated due to pressure from the EU and the French President Sakorzy.

Six French nationals have gone on trial in the Chad capital, N’Djamena for the attempted multiple kidnaps.

Three Chadians and one Sudanese refugee are also on trial for conspiracy.

French Government Intervention

The strangest aspect of the whole story is the role of the French government in the entire saga. It was initially reported that the French Air force backed Zoe’s Ark charity/NGO logistically as it planned its heinous crimes.

According to the Times, the French Army conceded that it had flown the charity’s workers on at least three occasions and let them buy supplies at its stores. It said that soldiers had been unaware of the nature of the operation, but the disclosure gave weight to claims by Zoe’s Ark that Paris had offered tacit approval.”

When the story broke, the French government initially denounced the perpetrators to whom it had issued a warning earlier in the year about their “adoption” activities.

However, there was an unexplained volte-face as on November 4, Sarkozy made an unexpected visit to Chad and secured the release of three French journalists and four Spanish flight attendants.

The freed men and women flew to Paris on his presidential jet after Sarkozy had held talks with Déby. The plane also stopped over in Madrid, where Spanish Premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero personally met the four Spanish flight attendants.

The intervention and interference by the French president at a personal level can best be described as the ‘devil getting into the detail’. Why Sarkozy decided to deal with the issue personally is part of the bigger picture in this fiasco.

It is feared that this inexplicable intervention could jeopardize the conduct of a free and fair trial leading to a precipitous release of the child trafficking criminals of Zoe Ark.

According to The Times, Sarkozy is assumed by diplomats to have provided undertakings on further French assistance to Déby, who owes his political survival in recent years to the presence of 1 200 French peace keeping forces in his country.

Another Similar Case…

One must again reflect on another related case, the case of the 400 Libyan children who were in 1999 alleged to have been intentionally infected with HIV, the virus that causes the deadly Aids disease by five Bulgarian medical workers, and a Palestinian doctor.

The fate of the children was put on the back burner while western media put Libya on trial unjustly. President Muammar Gaddafi eventually yielded to western demands regarding the fate of the health workers, and released them to the western governments.

In July 2007, Sarkozy’s ex-wife, Cécilia Sarkozy secured the release of the health workers from Libya after the French President agreed to provide weapons and nuclear technology to Libya as part of a deal for the release of the Bulgarian health workers.


Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia once declared that we Africans are not battling against mere flesh and blood from Europe, but against spiritual wickedness in high and low places.

One needs to stay two steps ahead of those “do gooders” from Europe. Their NGOs, their charities, and their Aids are Trojan horses, which maintain the exploitative status quo between Africa and Europe.

This relationship degenerated with five centuries of European sponsored transatlantic slavery which completely destroyed Africa to this present situations where under the guise of salvation African children have become body parts resources for some sick and dieing old Europeans willing to go any length to prolong their wretched lives on earth.

It speaks to the duty we should owe to ourselves, our nations, our children and our ancestors, to stand up with pride and live free even in the so-called man made poverty crisis of modern day Africa.

For even in your wealth and health crisis, you are better off than those who hate and plot for you. Once again one must take up the refrain of the words of Sekou Toure the great and wise leader of Guinea..”Better to be free and poor than to be rich and a slave.”

We must reject their Aids, their AIDS, their diseases, their patronage, and their false concern for the suffering and wars, which they have engineered on the African continent.

For a people who loose control of the safety of their children are a threatened species.

Africans must become extra vigilant from now on. You must remain two steps ahead of the beasts from Babylon.

The wealth of your soul, the bountifulness of your creativity, the soul in your vibrations, your natural contentment and joy, and the rich land you live in, the palace of the Sun, all make you infinitely wealthier than any European could ever hope for.

But if you do not recognize your true wealth, you will live enthralled to the wretchedness served up by the blighted, the stricken and the afflicted ones. But those who recognize, understand and over stand the message of this article, will overcome live and reign again.

Ogu Eji Ofo Annu

January 16th, 2008


On December 28th 2007 those criminals from the French Zoe’s Ark were convicted of attempting to kidnap 103 children from the African nation of Chad were sentenced to eight years hard labor and fined $9 million. They were sent back to France (to serve out their sentencing) two days after sentencing in Ndjamena, under the terms of a 1976 judicial convention. The Chadian court had also ordered the charity workers to jointly pay 4.12bn CFA francs (6.3mn euros or $US 13 million) to the families of the 103 African children caught up in the affair.

Several of the Zoe’s Ark project employees are facing charges under the related French investigation with helping minors illegally enter France, acting as illegal adoption intermediaries, and fraud. They face up to additional more 10 years in jail plus fines of 750,000 euros ($1.1mn).


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8 thoughts on “African Children Menaced By European (Organ Harvesting) Charity Agencies – The Zoe’s Ark Project By Ogu Eji Ofo Annu”

  1. Introduction To The Organ Trafficking Market in the United States – BBCNews Wednesday Jan 16th, 2008

    Plea deal in US body parts case

    The head of a US plot to illegally remove body parts from corpses and sell them for transplant is to admit guilt in a plea bargain, his lawyer has said.

    One of the bodies plundered was that of famous BBC broadcaster Alistair Cooke, whose bones sold for $11,000 (£5,600).

    Michael Mastromarino, 44, allegedly earned millions from the plot and is expected to face a minimum of 18 years in prison.

    Another 10 people have been charged in connection with the case.


    Mr Mastromarino’s lawyer, Mario Gallucci, said his client was “facing a daunting battle and he sees this as his best opportunity to accept responsibility and move on”.

    Mr Mastromarino was charged with corruption, body stealing, opening graves, unlawful dissection and forgery.

    His assistant, Lee Cruceta, has agreed to a deal to serve eight years in prison.

    Seven funeral directors have admitted other charges while charges on two other people are still pending.

    Thousands of people received body part transplants supplied by Mr Mastromarino’s Biomedical Tissue Services and his plea bargain is expected to include co-operation on providing information on who else dealt in the parts.

    The parts were taken without permission from more than 1,000 corpses awaiting cremation in New York state and may have exposed people to infection, prosecutors say.

    The four-year operation ran until 2005.

    Alistair Cooke died in 2004, aged 95. He presented Letter from America, the world’s longest-running radio speech show, for 58 years.
    Story from BBC NEWS:

  2. modern day slavery. Sadly, the west, our children have never had good intention toward Africa nor its people.

  3. January 30, 2008
    Kidney Thefts Shock India

    GURGAON, India — As the anesthetic wore off, Naseem Mohammed said, he felt an acute pain in the lower left side of his abdomen. Fighting drowsiness, he fumbled beneath the unfamiliar folds of a green medical gown and traced his fingers over a bandage attached with surgical tape. An armed guard by the door told him that his kidney had been removed.

    Mr. Mohammed was the last of about 500 Indians whose kidneys were removed by a team of doctors running an illegal transplant operation, supplying kidneys to rich Indians and foreigners, police officials said. A few hours after his operation last Thursday, the police raided the clinic and moved him to a government hospital.

    Many of the donors were day laborers, like Mr. Mohammed, picked up from the streets with the offer of work, driven to a well-equipped private clinic, and duped or forced at gunpoint to undergo operations. Others were bicycle rickshaw drivers and impoverished farmers who were persuaded to sell their organs, which is illegal in India.

    Although several kidney rings have been exposed in India in recent years, the police said the scale of this one was unprecedented. Four doctors, five nurses, 20 paramedics, three private hospitals, 10 pathology clinics and five diagnostic centers were involved, Mohinder Lal, the police officer in charge of the investigation, said.

    “We suspect around 400 or 500 kidney transplants were done by these doctors over the last nine years,” said Mr. Lal, the Gurgaon police commissioner.

    The case has enthralled India’s newspapers. Editorial writers have been particularly incensed by the failure of the police to capture the main doctor, who has many names but was known most recently as Amit Kumar.

    He was arrested in 1994 on suspicion of running a kidney transplant racket in Mumbai, but jumped bail, changed his name and set up work again from several clinics hidden in residential apartments in Gurgaon, a prosperous city outside Delhi.

    The police raided one of his clinics in 2000, but somehow he was allowed to continue working. Officials neglected to investigate further even after at least one television investigation exposed his work.

    On Tuesday, The Times of India called on the government to investigate “the nexus between the organ traders and the police.”

    Investigators were alerted to the ring on Thursday by a donor who said the operation had ruined his health.

    Apparently tipped off to the raid, Dr. Kumar escaped arrest. Only one of the four main doctors implicated has been detained.

    The officials suspect that several private hospitals in Delhi and its suburbs were quietly complicit in Dr. Kumar’s work and treated patients recovering from kidney transplants.

    “Due to its scale, we believe more members of the Delhi medical fraternity must have been aware of what was going on,” Mr. Lal told reporters on Monday.

    He said a team of criminals he called kidney scouts usually roamed labor markets in Delhi and cities in Uttar Pradesh, one of India’s poorest states, searching for potential donors. Some prospects were asked outright if they wanted to sell a kidney and were offered $1,000 to $2,500.

    A car equipped with testing equipment was often on hand so that potential donors could be checked immediately to see whether their kidneys matched the needs of prospective patients.

    Letters and e-mail messages from 48 foreigners inquiring about transplants were discovered in Dr. Kumar’s office, Mr. Lal said. Five foreigners — three from Greece and two Indian-born American citizens — were found in one of the clinics during the raids. The police suspected that they were about to receive kidney transplants, Mr. Lal said, but they were allowed to return home because the evidence was insufficient to detain them.

    Mr. Mohammed, 25, said Monday that he had no idea that it was possible to sell a kidney. He had been picking up odd jobs in Delhi for the past two years and sending money to his family in Gujarat, he said.

    Two weeks ago, he was approached by a bearded man as he waited at the early-morning labor market by the Old Delhi train station, he said. The man offered him an unusually generous deal: one and a half months’ work painting, for a little less than $4 a day, with free food and lodging.

    Mr. Mohammed said he was driven four or five hours, to a secluded bungalow, where he was placed in a room with four other young men, under the watch of two armed guards.

    “When I asked why I had been locked inside, the guards slapped me and said they would shoot me if I asked any more questions,” Mr. Mohammed said, lying in a hospital bed, wrapped in an orange blanket, clenching his teeth and shutting his eyes in pain. He said the men were given food to cook and periodically nurses would take blood samples.

    One by one, he said, they were taken away for operations.

    “They told us not to speak to each other or we would pay with our lives,” he said. “I was the last one to be taken.”

    Nearby in the drafty isolation ward at the Gurgaon Civic hospital, Shakeel Ahmed, 28, a laborer from Uttar Pradesh, said he, too, had been promised well-paid work. After days of confinement with Mr. Mohammed, Mr. Ahmed said, a blood sample was taken and a few hours later, against his will, he received an injection and lost consciousness.

    “I had no idea about kidney transplants, but when they made me lie down on the stretcher, I was terrified,” he said. “I knew that these people meant to do evil to me. When I woke up, a doctor said my kidney had been removed. He said I would be shot if I ever told anyone what happened.”

    The men said that they received no postoperative medical checks and that money or other compensation was not discussed.

    Three police officers guard the ward.

    “These are the main witnesses to the crime,” said Badlu Ram, a police inspector. “The operation was so well organized that we believe there may be a threat to their lives.”

    Mr. Ahmed’s father, Abdullah Ahmed, sat on the edge of his son’s bed, weeping. The father said his son’s damaged health would keep him from working, leaving the family destitute.

    “I don’t know what we will do,” he said. “The men who did this should be hanged.”

  4. February 27, 2008
    Surgeon Accused of Speeding a Death to Get Organs

    SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — On a winter night in 2006, a disabled and brain damaged man named Ruben Navarro was wheeled into an operating room at a hospital here. By most accounts, Mr. Navarro, 25, was near death, and doctors hoped that he might sustain other lives by donating his kidneys and liver.

    But what happened to Mr. Navarro quickly went from the potentially life-saving to what law enforcement officials say was criminal. In what transplant experts believe is the first such case in the country, prosecutors have charged the surgeon, Dr. Hootan C. Roozrokh, with prescribing excessive and improper doses of drugs, apparently in an attempt to hasten Mr. Navarro’s death to retrieve his organs sooner.

    A preliminary hearing begins here on Wednesday, with Dr. Roozrokh facing three felony counts relating to Mr. Navarro’s treatment as a donor. At the heart of the case is whether Dr. Roozrokh, who studied at a transplant fellowship program at the Stanford University School of Medicine, 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.”

    Dr. Roozrokh has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyer said the charges were the result of overzealous prosecutors. But the case has sent a shudder through the tight-knit field of transplant surgeons — if convicted on all counts, Dr. Roozrokh could face eight years in prison — while also worrying donation advocacy groups that organ donors could be frightened away.

    “If you think a malpractice lawsuit is scaring surgeons off, wait to see what happens when people see a surgeon being charged criminally and going to jail,” said Dr. Goran B. Klintmalm, president of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, who added that he considered the case unprecedented.

    David Fleming, the executive director of Donate Life America, a nonprofit group that promotes donations, said the case had “given some support to the myths and misperceptions we spend an inordinate amount of time telling people won’t happen.”

    Mr. Fleming said about 18 people a day die in the United States waiting for transplants. That has created a tremendous demand for donor organs, and over the years the medical community has established strict protocols to govern organ harvesting.

    Transplanting organs from patients whose hearts have stopped, or cardiac-death donations, began to go out of vogue in the late 1960s and early ’70s after medical advances like life support and subsequent changes in the legal definition of death made donations from those declared brain dead more efficient. But health officials have encouraged cardiac-death donations in recent years.

    There were 670 cardiac-death donations through the first nine months of 2007, the most in any year this decade, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, which oversees organ allocation. Over the same period, there were 12,553 brain-dead donations, according to the network.

    In brain-death donations, the donor is legally dead, but machines keep the organs viable by machines. In cardiac-death donations, after the patient’s ventilator is removed, the heart slows. Once it stops, brain function ceases. Most donor protocols call for a five-minute delay before the patient is declared dead. Transplant teams are not allowed in the room of the potential donor before that.

    Cardiac-death donations can make some doctors and nurses skittish if they have not previously witnessed one, said Dr. Robert Sade, the former chairman of the American Medical Association’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.

    “It all works exactly the same, the cuts and the procedure,” Dr. Sade said. “But the circumstances are quite different.”

    Several days after Mr. Navarro was hospitalized at the Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center here, a decision was made to remove his ventilator. According to the criminal complaint, Dr. Roozrokh ordered excessive doses of morphine and Ativan, an anti-anxiety medicine, both of which are used to comfort dying patients. In the most shocking accusation, the complaint said Dr. Roozrokh introduced Betadine, a topical antiseptic, into Mr. Navarro’s system; Betadine, the complaint said, is “a harmful substance that may cause death if ingested.”

    Mr. Navarro died about eight hours later of what the coroner ruled was natural causes. In the end, however, because his death was not more immediate, his organs had deteriorated too much to be usable for transplant.

    Prosecutors have charged Dr. Roozrokh with felony counts of dependent adult abuse, mingling a harmful substance (Betadine) and prescribing a controlled substance (morphine and Ativan) without medical purpose.

    The doctor’s lawyer, M. Gerald Schwartzbach, said that Dr. Roozrokh, 34, who moved to Wisconsin from Iran when he was a toddler and excelled as a collegiate swimmer, did “nothing that adversely affected the quality or length” of Mr. Navarro’s life.

    “Dr. Roozrokh is a brilliant young surgeon, who has dedicated his life to saving lives,” Mr. Schwartzbach said. Neither the police nor prosecutors would comment on the case.

    Mr. Navarro was diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy, a neurological disorder, when he was 9. “He would walk like he was drunk,” said his mother, Rosa, a Guatemalan immigrant. “And when he would play, he would fall like Bambi.”

    By his early 20s, however, Mr. Navarro’s mental and physical condition had deteriorated to a point where he was placed in an assisted-care facility.

    On Jan. 29, 2006, Ms. Navarro received a call from the facility that her son had been found unconscious, in cardiac and respiratory arrest, but that he had been revived and transported to Sierra Vista. His brain had been damaged from lack of oxygen.

    Several days later, Ms. Navarro says she was told by a doctor at the hospital, whose name she did not know, that her son would not recover and that he would be disconnected from life support.

    Ms. Navarro, a machinist from Oxnard, Calif., who is on disability, said she did not have enough money to stay another night near her son. She said that shortly after leaving the hospital, she received a call from the California Transplant Donor Network, a nonprofit organization. On a tape recording made by the network, Ms. Navarro agreed to donate her son’s organs, saying she did not want him “to suffer too long.”

    Late on Feb. 3, a transplant team including Dr. Roozrokh arrived at the hospital.

    According to a police interview with Jennifer Endsley, a nurse, the transplant team, including Dr. Roozrokh, stayed in the room during the removal of the ventilator and gave orders for medication, something that would violate donation protocol. Ms. Endsley, who stayed to watch because she had never participated in this type of procedure, also told the police that Dr. Roozrokh asked an intensive care nurse to administer more “candy” — meaning drugs — after Mr. Navarro did not die immediately after his ventilator was removed.

    Mr. Schwartzbach said he would address the accusations in court. “I think a great many people, lay and medical, will realize they have been significantly misinformed,” he said.

    Several months after the incident, federal health officials cited the hospital for a series of lapses, including failing to grant temporary clinical privileges to Dr. Roozrokh, who was under contract with the donor network. Last February, the United Network for Organ Sharing reprimanded the California Transplant Donor Network for breaking “established protocol” in the case. The donor network declined to comment.

    Ms. Navarro has filed a civil suit against Dr. Roozrokh, the donor network and other doctors in the operating room, and has settled a lawsuit against the hospital. A spokesman for the hospital, Ron Yukelson, said a plan to correct the problems had been accepted by federal health officials.

    Ms. Navarro said she remained angry about the way her son’s life ended.

    “He didn’t deserve to be like that, to go that way,” she said. “He died without dignity and sympathy and without respect.”

    Melanie Carroll contributed reporting from San Luis Obispo, and Lawrence K. Altman from New York.

  5. Parents’ Hospital Lawsuit Says Teen Was ‘Killed’ For Organs
    Doctors Admit Clerical Error, but Say Teen Would Not Have Recovered From Brain Damage
    March 6, 2009 —

    The parents of an 18-year-old who suffered a brain injury in a 2007 snowboarding accident say his doctors “intentionally killed” him to harvest his organs.

    In the lawsuit filed this week in the U.S. District Court of Western Pennsylvania, Michael and Teresa Jacobs claim that doctors “hastened” their son Gregory Jacobs’ death by delaying treatment and ultimately pulling his breathing tube, causing him to suffocate.

    The couple said their son had not been formally declared brain dead when surgeons began the transplant procedure. They are seeking $5 million in damages.

    “But for the intentional trauma or asphyxiation of Gregory Jacobs, he would have lived, or, at the very least, his life would have been prolonged,” the lawsuit said.

    The Bellevue, Ohio, family claim that if their son had been properly treated, he would have had a “significant chance of substantial recovery.”

    The parents have charged doctors at Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa., and a representative of the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) in Pittsburgh.

    In prepared statements, both Hamot Medical Center and the organ center expressed condolences to the Jacobs family.

    Hamot maintained that the treatment administered was “timely, appropriate and well-documented.”

    “Proper consent was received in order for his organs to be donated and the protocols that were followed were consistent with all established donation procedures,” it read. “Any claims otherwise are completely baseless. While we have yet to receive formal notification of a lawsuit having been filed, we will vigorously defend against any accusations of wrongdoing.”

    The organ center also said charges against them were “baseless and untrue.”

    “As in all donation cases, CORE followed all regulated medical protocols in the case,” its statement read.

    Hit Head in Snowboarding Fall
    Gregory Jacobs suffered a “closed head injury” after a fall while on a high school-sponsored skiing trip to Peek ‘n Peak Ski Resort in Findley Lake, N.Y., March 8, 2007. He died five days later after being air-lifted to Hamot.

    “Essentially, the family was told that Greg was brain dead and he would not recover and, therefore, they signed a document that agreed to an organ transplant,” said the Jacobs’ lawyer Dennis Boyle. “Greg was not, in fact, brain dead.”

    Brain Death Recording Error?
    According to the plaintiffs, brain death was recorded the next day, “retroactively” as life support was being withdrawn in preparation for organ removal.

    In an interview with media in 2007, hospital officials acknowledged that the recorded time of death was a mistake.

    “We are absolutely certain that no retrieval of any organs took place until he was pronounced dead,” Dr. James Pepicello said told “We are aware of a discrepancy in the operative record from Hamot. It is an error in documentation.”

    The coroner’s office initially referred the death to the Erie County district attorney’s office, according to Boyle, but it declined to prosecute after hospital officials “corrected” the time of death.

    The suit also alleges that the Center for Organ Recovery and Education benefited by obtaining Gregory Jacobs’ organs “for transfer and sale to other individuals, who then paid money, a portion of which went to CORE, for the wrongful procurement of the organs.”

    ‘It’s Been a Nightmare,’ Says Father
    Several calls by to the Jacobs family were not answered, but in an interview with media in July 2007, family members said they “wanted answers.”

    “It’s been a nightmare,” Mike Jacobs told

    He said doctors told him Gregory Jacobs’ head was “full of strokes. … Half his head was stroked. … The other part was stroked. They showed us on the [CT] scan. There was no hope.”

    “From the very first day that I was there and walked into the pre-op room, I was told organ donation makes death easier,” he said.

    The suit alleges Mike Jacobs was pressured into signing a do-not-resuscitate order and authorizing the organ transplant. The teen’s heart, liver and kidney were donated.

    As soon as the order was signed, the hospital began preparing Gregory Jacobs for organ donation, the lawsuit charges.

    “In fact, [brain death] was never recorded and our experts say he did not meet any criteria for brain death,” Boyle told

    Gregory Jacobs’ Parents Not Present at Death
    The parents were “in shock” and not present at their son’s death. The mother “seems to have been taken out of it [decision making] completely,” said Boyle. “She wanted to be present but was told she couldn’t be.”

    “They cut my son at ten to 6, 29 minutes before they pronounced him dead,” Teresa Jacobs told last year.

    The Jacobses, whom their lawyer described as an “intact, close-knit working class family,” have another son who is a junior in high school.

    The lawsuit was filed two years — almost to the day — after the accident, when the statute of limitations on such a civil lawsuit closes.

    “It took them a while to find an attorney, and it us took us a while to obtain medical records for independent review and educate ourselves on what was going on,” Boyle said.

    The Jacobses’ case illustrates the painful decision to transplant organs from dying patients, one that is fraught with ethical questions.

    “You don’t treat someone as a donor before they are dead,” said Dr. Arthur Caplan, chairman of the Department of Medical Ethics at University of Pennsylvania, who is not involved in the Jacobs case. “That’s a big no-no.”

    Dead Donor Rule
    “It’s the dead donor rule to keep the public trust in place so people are not killed for parts,” he told

    But, he added that giving a patient a dire prognosis and signing a do-not-resuscitate order does not give the automatic green light for organ donation — sometimes, patients and doctors don’t communicate effectively.

    “There can be a lot of tension managing the end of life,” Caplan told “It’s a gray area to manage the desire of the donor, and the family wanting to do everything they can think of in a hopeless situation.”

    “It’s also murky. Families don’t always hear what doctors are saying and doctors aren’t always clear because they don’t want to take away any hope,” he said.

    Doctors need to be “franker and blunter,” he said. “Be kind, but don’t sugarcoat things, otherwise people don’t hear what is being said.”

    Families should appoint a lead decision-maker who can talk directly with the medical team.

    “Groups can be very confusing and often people hear different things,” he said.

    Better medical protocols and training are also necessary to ensure that “patients are first, not the organs,” he said.

    “A donor card should not trump the managing of the dying person,” he said. “Doctors have to be taught that. It is their primary duty to care for the patient.”

    The Jacobses’ attorney said, “Some of the statements made by the doctors were susceptible to misinterpretation when they said he was brain dead.”

    But he still contends health officials moved too quickly to harvest Gregory Jacobs’ organs.

    Said Boyle, “The Jacobs[es] were always clear they wanted everything done for their son’s recovery and they really didn’t care if he was disabled or not.”

    Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures

  6. ‘I bought a new kidney’
    Londoner Sukhi Johal paid £30,000 for a kidney transplant operation in Pakistan.
    She told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Victoria Derbyshire show why she has no regrets about buying an organ from a live donor – something that is illegal in the UK.
    Beautician Sukhi was diagnosed with kidney disease when she was 21.
    Sukhi, now 46, says she remained relatively healthy until 2007 when her condition worsened.
    She began dialysis treatment in the US, where she was based at the time, but found it hard to tolerate after 15 months.
    US doctors said that she would probably have to wait more than 10 years before a suitable donor organ became available.
    “I wasn’t willing to do that,” she said.
    “I was suffering so much I just felt like I couldn’t wait 10 years for a kidney.”
    Sukhi was put in contact with a family friend who had a paid a donor and undergone a successful transplant in Pakistan, where the sale of an organ is not illegal, provided it is “voluntary, genuinely motivated and without duress or coercion.”
    She also started communicating with a hospital in Pakistan.
    A suitable donor was eventually found – a 25-year-old mother of three – and while Sukhi explained that she felt “very apprehensive” about the procedure, she felt the risk was worth taking.
    “I was willing to play the odds and see what happened,” she said.
    “At that point, I wasn’t too bothered.
    “If it was successful – fantastic – I would have my life back, and if not, I was willing to take that chance.”
    Although she was concerned about the ethics of paying a donor, she went ahead because “it was a matter of life and death for me”.
    She says she feels that the decision to sell an organ is a “personal, individual choice”, but acknowledges that poverty can play a big part.
    “From what I know of my donor, I know she had no home, so she obviously did it because she needed the money and I obviously did it because I needed to get my life back.”
    Against the hospital’s wishes, Sukhi met with her donor before the procedure, which was carried out in December 2008.
    “Seeing her was very overwhelming for me”, she says, “but I felt I was helping her in many ways.
    “ Every transplant unit in the UK, I would suspect, has got a small number of patients who have come back from overseas ”
    Professor Peter Friend Oxford Transplant Centre
    “She had already made the decision she was going to do it, and she was on the list at the hospital, so if I hadn’t chosen to take her kidney, somebody else would have done so.”
    Sukhi returned to the UK after the operation and feels that she now enjoys good health.
    She says she had arranged an additional private payment to the donor and that she plans to fund the education of her donor’s children.
    Sukhi told Victoria Derbyshire that she is talking about her experiences in a bid to encourage the Asian community to donate organs and carry a donor card.
    People from an Asian background are three to four times more likely to need a kidney transplant than the general population.
    Professor Peter Friend, the director of the Oxford Transplant Centre, told BBC Radio 5 Live that there were several reasons why paid living donor transplants were illegal in many countries, including the UK.
    “There are real concerns as to the well-being of the donor, whether they’re being coerced, whether they’re being exploited, or whether these organs are simply being removed to the benefit – substantially – of the people who are undertaking the business – such as the transplant units, rather than the donor themselves.”
    Professor Friend said that the mean waiting time for a first transplant in the UK was around two years, boosted by the practise of paired exchange.
    He stressed there were risks to the patient as well as the donor of having such procedures abroad.
    “Every transplant unit in the UK, I would suspect, has got a small number of patients who have come back from overseas.
    “In some cases it has gone well – but many may have not.”
    Find out more
    Story from BBC NEWS:

  7. I am glad you are publicizing this issue. Survivable patients with brain illnesses are also trapped in Canadian hospitals and purposely made to get worse so that bad news can persuade their families to say yes to donation. Many people are made to deteriorate and then are paralysed with haldol to look dead. These people are not dead. They are suffering terribly but can’t show their pain because of paralytic drugs. These drugs do not deal with pain. If painkillers were given a red flag would go up as WHY is this patient in pain? I have tried to get the police involved in this kind of false imprisonment and torture in Canada.

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