At Dr Death's first hearing at Brisbane Magistrate's court since his extradition from the USA, the prosecutor listed all charges against the Indian-trained surgeon, Dr. Jayant Patel. It was said that he carried out a series of badly considered and poorly performed surgeries, that cost the lives of three patients.
The 58-year-old Patel is facing 14 charges, including three counts of manslaughter, two of grievous bodily harm, an alternative charge of a negligent act causing harm, and eight counts of fraud from his time as director of surgery at Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland between 2003 and 2005, reports news.com.au
Prosecutor Ross Martin today told a committal hearing in the Brisbane Magistrates Court that Dr.Patel had misdiagnosed patients, performed surgeries he was barred from doing in the United States and ultimately severely harmed five patients, three of whom died.
In one case, Dr Patel failed to stop internal bleeding during an operation on the oesophagus of Gerry Kemps in December 2004, leaving the patient to conduct non-emergency surgery on another patient.
Martin said when Dr Patel returned five hours later to stop the internal bleeding, he did not seek specialist help and eventually completed surgery without stemming the bleeding. Kemps died the next day.
The court was also told in a 2003 case that Dr. Patel misdiagnosed Mervyn Morris, who had been suffering rectal bleeding. He then poorly performed the wrong surgery, which failed to stop the bleeding. He followed up with poor post-operative care leading to Morris's death.
In another 2003 case, Dr Patel poorly performed an oesophagectomy on James Phillips, who was too sick for such surgery and later died, the court heard.
Martin said safer treatments had been available and the hospital had not been equipped for the complications from such surgery.
The court heard Dr Patel lied about restrictions imposed on his medical practice in the United States in order to gain employment in Australia.
Martin said Dr Patel resigned from employment in the US in June 2001, the day before he was to be sacked.
In 2002, Dr Patel made a general application to work in Australia and was offered a job at Bundaberg Base Hospital.
Martin said Dr Patel fudged details on his CV to extend the period he spent at his last place of employment in the US, and did not disclose to Australian authorities that he had been the subject of disciplinary action in the US, or that restrictions had been placed on his license.