Patel juror discharged

Dr Jayant Patel
Dr Jayant Patel Supplied

UPDATED: A JUROR in the trial of former Bundaberg Hospital surgeon Jayant Patel has been discharged.

Day three of the trial was delayed this morning as Justice John Byrne told the Supreme Court in Brisbane he had received a note from a juror who felt he couldn't continue.

Justice Byrne then allowed prosecutor Ross Martin and defence counsel Michael Byrne, SC, to consider the note separately.

He then decided to discharge the man as a juror and empanelled a juror from the reserve panel that had been selected on Monday.

Yesterday, the court was told Patel had been banned in the US because of “gross acts of negligence” from performing surgeries he later carried out at Bundaberg Hospital.

The court heard an outline of a US medical board decision that banned Patel from major surgeries and forced him to get a second opinion on other operations.

The court was told that in August 2000, the Board of Medical Examiners in Oregon banned Patel from doing the surgeries he later performed on Ian Vowles, James Phillips, Gerry Kemps and James Grave at Bundaberg Hospital.

Patel has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Phillips, Mr Kemps and Mervyn Morris, and to the grievous bodily harm of Mr Vowles.

Documents shown to the jury said his doctor’s surgical licence was restricted on the grounds of “unprofessional” or “dishonorable” conduct and “gross or repeated acts of negligence”.

Prosecutor Ross Martin said this showed Patel knew he should not perform those surgeries in Bundaberg.

“All these cases were cases to which this order applied,” he said.

The court also heard Patel told patient Ian Vowles he would be “running around like a horse” following the removal of his bowel.

Mr Vowles, then 56, had a history of bowel surgery when Patel decided to remove the rest of the organ following a colonoscopy he performed on October 4, 2004.

Mr Martin said the former chief of surgery told Mr Vowles his bowel needed to be removed, despite the results of the biopsy showing the growth in his organ was benign.

It is alleged Patel told Mr Vowles he would “whip it out” and that the patient would be well after the operation.

Instead, Mr Vowles was fitted with a colostomy bag following the bowel removal.

The first four witnesses to take the stand during the trial were Bundaberg Hospital administrators when Patel worked there.

Gayle Chandler, a manager of medical records at Bundaberg Hospital, Desley Hoolihan, currently the director of safety, quality and risk management, and pathology scientist Christene Lawrence all took the stand.

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