Australian surgeon charged with manslaughter

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Sydney, Oct 30 (UNI) A surgeon in Brisbane has been charged with manslaughter after he allegedly sliced open a woman's vein in an operation and then prescribed blood-thinning drugs that hastened her death.

Dr Bruce Ward was released on bail yesterday after Deputy State Coroner Christine Clements formally charged him with manslaughter, The Australian reported.

The 30-year-old Nardia Annette Cvitic died on February 22, 2002, three days after undergoing an operation by Dr Ward in which she lost half of her blood .

Trained in Australia and Britain, Dr Ward was working at the Mater and Royal Women's hospitals at the time of the death of the mother of two; he was a professor at the University of Queensland and remains a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

While Dr Ward testified that he made reasonable, albeit incorrect, clinical decisions, Ms Clements found 13 instances where a jury might find him criminally negligent and responsible for the death.

Dr Ward declined to respond to the charge yesterday, leaving his barrister, David Tait, to continue his defence in the media, again extending his sympathies to the Cvitic family.


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