Defence opens its case in Patel manslaughter trial

JAYANT Patel thought he had "honestly and reasonably"  diagnosed a patient weeks before he died in post operative care.

The defence has opened its case in Patel's manslaughter trial in the Supreme Court.

Defence counsel Kenneth Fleming told the jury this morning his client had reviewed his medical notes regarding Mervyn John Morris.

Patel removed part of Mr Morris's sigmoid colon in 2003 at Bundaberg Base Hospital to address Mr Morris's rectal bleeding.

Mr Fleming told the court Patel, before operating on Mr Morris, formed the reasonable and honest opinion that Mr Morris' rectal bleeding was from diverticular disease.

"He is honestly and reasonably of the belief that tests he performed showed that diagnosis," Mr Fleming said.

Mr Fleming told the jury the evidence would show Mr Morris as a man that had lost a significant amount of blood and would be at a very serious risk if he formed another bleed.

The Crown alleged Patel failed to correctly diagnosis Mr Morris with radiation a proctitis and also failed to administer Mr Morris adequate post-operative care.

But Mr Fleming said Patel honestly and reasonably thought he recommended his patient the most appropriate post-operative treatment.

Patel fed Mr Morris through a nasal gastric tube but the Crown argues Mr Morris should have been fed through a parenteral feeding method.

Patel has taken the witness stand this morning to describe his time as surgical director at Bundaberg Base Hospital.

He said he remember Mr Morris as a "pleasant, honourable" man.

"He did not complain about anything," Patel told the court.

Patel said he arrived in Bundaberg a night before he had to start at the hospital.

He said he was the only surgeon at the hospital for three and a half weeks.

The trial in Brisbane continues.



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