'Dr. Death' Patel cleared of manslaughter charges in patient's death
Sydney, Mar. 14 : An Australian court has cleared Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel of manslaughter of an elderly patient nearly a decade ago.
At the end of a 23-day trial in the Supreme Court in Brisbane, a jury found the former surgeon's decision to operate on 75-year-old Mervyn Morris did not constitute criminal negligence leading to manslaughter.
According to Brisbane Times, Patel had been accused of causing Morris' death after he removed part of his colon in an attempt to stop rectal bleeding in 2003.
However, his defence team successfully argued Patel had an 'honest and reasonable belief' the operation was necessary, and that his actions were supported by a number of expert witnesses.
This is the second time Patel has stood trial for the manslaughter of Morris. He was convicted in June 2010 of killing Morris and two other patients, and was also found guilty of the grievous bodily harm of Ian Vowles, the report said.
Patel was sentenced to seven years' jail. However, his convictions were overturned by the High Court in August last year and separate retrials were ordered.
Patel, however, remains on bail for the other charges, the report added.