Sydney, Mar 8: A jury is set to decide whether Indian-origin doctor Jayant Patel unlawfully killed his patient, as legal counsel are prepared to sum up their cases in the four-week manslaughter trial in Australia.
Patel, 62, has pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court to unlawfully killing Mervyn John Morris, 75, who died three weeks after part of his bowel was removed at Bundaberg Hospital on May 23, 2003.
Defence expert witness, Nambour Hospital director of surgery Ratna Aseervatham, was the final witness on the 20th day of proceedings.
According to the Courier Mail, earlier this week Aseervatham said Patel’s decision to operate on Morris was ‘viable’.
During cross-examination by Crown prosecutor Peter Davis SC, the doctor said while it was reasonable to do the operation, it was also reasonable to do nothing or even to treat Morris with blood transfusions, the report said.
He said Morris’ pattern of bleeding should have been further investigated when he was admitted to hospital.
According to the report, patient notes shown in court revealed Morris came to the emergency department feeling weak, dizzy and with low levels of haemoglobin, indicating blood loss.
Though Davis suggested that Patel’s decision to operate Morris was ‘marginal’, he acknowledged that the surgery ‘was not critical’ in light of the patient’s stable condition, the report said.
In re-examination by barrister Kylie Hillard, Dr Aseervatham said there would have been a range of options available when determining how best to treat Morris.
Barrister Ken Fleming QC, for Patel, told the court the accused had done his best for Morris before complications moved in.
Members of the jury have written not fewer than 50 notes during the trial, before Justice George Fryberg, seeking further clarification from various witnesses who gave evidence, the report added. (ANI)