'Dr. Death' Patel was competent for oesophagectomy operations: Defence counsel

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Brisbane, June 20(ANI): The defence counsel of Indian-origin surgeon Dr. Jayant Patel a.k.a. "Dr. Death" has said that he had the skill and care to perform complicated oesophagectomy operations during his time as a surgeon at Bundaberg Base Hospital.

Michael Byrne told the Brisbane Supreme Court jury that contrary to the prosecution's claims, the evidence given at the trial showed that Patel was capable of doing a competent oesophagectomy (removal of a cancercous oesophagus).

Byrne was completing his final address in a trial where Patel has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter of his patients- Gerry Kemps, James Phillips and Mervyn Morris- on various dates between March 2003 and April 2005.

He has also been accused of causing grievous bodily harm to Ian Rodney Vowles.

The Crown had also given evidence about an oesophagectomy performed on another patient James Grave.atel is not facing a charge about that oesophagectomy, but the Crown alleged that it should have been a warning to Patel that he was not capable of doing complicated surgery at the Bundaberg Base Hospital.

Byrne countered this claim and said that a detailed examination of the procedure, lead up and the outcome of the Grave operation showed that Patel had acted with nothing but competency, skill and care.

"It showed Patel had the skill set and employed those skills to deal with the complications and a complicated case. In Grave's case most of these had been dealt with by time patient was transferred to Brisbane," The Courier Mail quoted Byrne, as saying.

He added that out of the four oesophagectomy opeartions performed by Patel, Phillips's actual surgery "went fine", Grave's actual surgery "went well" and another one also "went fine".The trial continues. (ANI)

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