Jayant Patel.
Jayant Patel.

Patel jury in lockdown until they reach verdict

THE jury responsible for trying Jayant Patel for manslaughter will remain in lockdown until a verdict is reached.

After a month of detailed evidence, the jury spent several hours on Monday listening to a summary of the case from Justice George Fryberg.

Using a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate the points the jury was recommended to remember, the panel was also shown a flowchart with a number of questions it could use to help reach a verdict.

Since the trial began last month, the jury has submitted several dozen notes to Justice Fryberg seeking clarification on certain points and submissions.

Dr Patel, who has studiously scribbled notes and provided advice to his legal counsel throughout his Supreme Court trial, has pleaded not guilty to unlawfully killing patient Mervyn Morris in 2003.

The Crown alleges Patel misdiagnosed Mr Morris, 75, with diverticulitis after the patient fronted Bundaberg Base Hospital with a rectal bleed.

Dr Patel performed a colectomy and colostomy on Mr Morris to remove part of his sigmoid colon. Mr Morris died a few weeks later in post-operative care.

It is also alleged a reasonable surgeon would have recognised Mr Morris was, in fact, suffering from radiation proctitis, a condition resulting from radiation therapy years prior.

The flow chart provided to the jury on Monday included questions of whether Mr Morris had liver disease before his operation in May, 2003, and whether there was a substantial chance he could die from his operation.

"All operations carry risks, the question is how risky was this operation?"

Justice Fryberg put to the jury. He reminded the jury its decision was important and not to be swayed by emotions.

The jury will be sequested until a verdict is reached.


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