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`Dr Death` Patel was `rotten surgeon`: Prosecutor

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 10:02

Melbourne: A court hearing the
manslaughter case against Jayant Patel was Tuesday told that the
Indian-American doctor was a "rotten surgeon" who did not have
the skills to perform major operations.

Prosecutor Ross Martin told the jury that Patel`s
negligence caused the deaths of three patients, and serious
injury to another.

The trial, Martin told the court, was about
"judgements", and that Patel`s negligence extended to his poor
decisions about when to operate, and his choices about
appropriate post-operative care.

"You`ll be satisfied that the accused was a bad
surgeon," Martin said.

Patel was dubbed as `Dr Death` by the Australian media
after the case was highlighted, he was later extradited from
the US to undergo trial.

"Surgery is not only about cutting - it involves pre-
and post-surgical choices as well. If you don`t have all of
these skills you ought not to be offering surgery to
patients," he said.

He said Patel`s comment to Bundaberg nurse Damien
Bondarenko in 2005 was illustrative of his "ego and lack of
insight" into his actions.

"(Patel) said to Bondarenko: `Don`t you think the
community`s lucky to have someone like me? I`ve brought a lot
of money to the hospital. I`ve increased its activity`,"
Martin said.

The prosecutor said this was Patel`s view after all
the events, surrounding his tenure at the hospital.

"The lack of insight that that reveals is remarkable,"
he said.

Martin said he would speak at length about the
evidence given during the trial, which is now in its 13th

The lawyer is currently focusing on the events
relating to patient Morris, who died on June 14, 2003.

It is alleged Patel failed to properly investigate the
cause of Morris`s rectal bleeding and "unnecessarily" removed
part of the 75-year-old`s colon.

Patel has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of
Mervyn Morris, Gerardus Kemps and James Phillips during his
time as director of surgery at the Bundaberg Base Hospital
between 2003 and 2005.

He has also pleaded not guilty to the grievous bodily
harm of Ian Vowles.


First Published: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 10:02

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