Indian-origin doctor cleared of manslaughter charge in Aus

Indian-origin doctor cleared of manslaughter charge in Aus

In a relief to Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel, an Australian court today found him not guilty of manslaughter of an elderly patient nearly a decade ago.

Patel, 62, the former director of surgery at Bundaberg Base Hospital, had pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Mervyn John Morris, 75, who died on June 14, 2003, three weeks after he removed part of his bowel to treat rectal bleeding.

It was the second time Patel stood for the manslaughter trial of Morris. He was convicted of killing Morris and two other patients in June 2010.

After a four week trial, a Brisbane Supreme Court jury found Patel not guilty of killing Morris.

The prosecution had said Patel was grossly negligent, that he had not properly diagnosed the bleeding and that he made the wrong decision to operate and failed to properly manage the man's post-operative care.

Patel's defence team argued Patel had an "honest and reasonable belief" that the operation at the Bundaberg Base Hospital was necessary, and that his actions were supported by a number of expert witnesses.

It was the second time Patel stood for the manslaughter trial of Morris. He was convicted of killing Morris and two other patients in June 2010.

Patel, an Indian-born US citizen, was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2010 after being convicted of the manslaughter of three patients and causing grievous bodily harm to another.

He was released from prison on the High Court's order, after serving two years and two months of a sentence handed down in 2010.

Separate retrials were ordered for the charges related to each patient.

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