Former surgeon Jayant Patel (left) with barrister Kenneth Fleming.
Former surgeon Jayant Patel (left) with barrister Kenneth Fleming.

Patel tells court his decision to operate was 'appropriate'

FORMER Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel says his decision to operate on an elderly Bagara man was "appropriate" and not "rash".

He said Mervyn Morris, 75, was haemodynamically stable despite his acute rectal bleeding in May, 2003, at Bundaberg Hospital.

"The best time to operate is when the patient is stable," he said in Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday.

"I think it was an appropriate decision at the appropriate time.

"I don't think it was a rash decision at all."

Under cross-examination from Crown prosecutor Peter Davis, Patel had also defended his decision to perform a colostomy and a colectomy.

He said other options for treatment were not viable, such as sending the patient home or to do more transfusions.
Mr Morris died a few weeks after surgery on June 14, 2003, while in post-operative care.

Patel is facing a trial after pleading not guilty to manslaughter of Mr Morris for an allegedly unnecessary surgery.

Rockhampton doctor William Renton-Power also defended Patel's decision to operate and his post-operative care.

He said Mr Morris died when he inhaled his stomach contents into his lungs.

"He needed that operation," he said, to prevent another major haemorrhage.

Dr Renton-Power was questioned about whether he could be impartial when he knew Patel.

He said he met Patel "for about half an hour" when they worked together in Rockhampton.

Dr Renton-Power said he would not testify if he did not "believe" Patel made an "excellent decision" to operate.

Closing arguments will begin on Thursday.

The jury will begin deliberations next week.


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