'Dr Death' Jayant Patel's manslaughter trial begins in Brisbane SC
Sydney, Feb. 8 : Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel's manslaughter trial has opened in the Brisbane Supreme Court.
Patel, 62, has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Mervyn Morris, 75, who died three weeks after surgery in June, 2003.
According to the Courier Mail, prosecutor Peter Davis SC will open the Crown's case in five parts.
He told the jury that failure to take reasonable care and or have reasonable skill leaves the doctor criminally liable for the consequences of that negligence.
He said that the accused was under a legal obligation to take reasonable care and skill in administering treatment to Morris.
According to the report, he indicated the opening would take a number of hours and include a chronology of what happened and when as well as legal analysis and information on how the Crown's 48 witnesses would fit into the case.
The 15-strong jury has faced cross-examination to screen for any bias with the potential to influence a fair trial in a 'polling' process unique to Queensland and undertaken for the first time in Australia's legal history.
Brisbane Supreme Court Justice George Fryberg acknowledged that the prospective jurors would likely have heard of the former Bundaberg Hospital surgeon, the report said.
Barrister Ken Fleming QC, for Patel, successfully applied to cross-examine five prospective jurors based on their answers to the six questions posed in the questionnaire but only challenged one, it added.