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Patel had no input into death certificate, court hears

THE former Bundaberg surgeon facing a manslaughter trial claims his junior doctor listed his sigmoid colon operation as a secondary cause of death without consulting him.

Jayant Patel, under cross-examination from the Crown, testified he had no input when his junior Emma Igras filled out patient Mervyn John Morris' death certificate.

"I suggest you did discuss it and agreed upon the words on the death certificate," Crown Prosecutor Peter Davis said on Friday.

Patel said he "respectfully" disagreed.

He said Mr Morris, 75, died from "aspiration", when Mr Morris vomited while intubated and then inhaled the fluid into his lungs.

Mr Davis suggested Mr Morris died on June 14, 2003, "as a direct cause" of Patel's surgery on May 23, but Patel disagreed.

Patel had testified Mr Morris only began deteriorating two days before he died.

But Mr Davis suggested the patient's vital stats were falling before that date - pointing to breath shortness, low oxygen levels without aid, fluid issues, tachycardia and the need for morphine.

"He's declining isn't he?" he asked.

"No", Patel replied, arguing Mr Morris was responding quickly to treatment for his issues.

"You're just inventing this idea of the aspiration as the cause of his death aren't you?" he asked.

Patel disagreed again.

The case will continue next week, with closing arguments expected to begin on Wednesday.

Topics:  court manslaughter



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