Killer doc­tors and nurses

Med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als are some of the most trusted and car­ing peo­ple in our com­mu­nity ty, but not all of them pre­fer to heal oth­ers.. ..

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

Dr Death

Queens­land sur­geon Dr Jayant Pa­tel was found re­spon­si­ble for 13 deaths through neg­li­gence in a pub­lic in­quiry into the deaths of 87 pa­tients he was linked to in 2005.

How­ever, when it came to prose­cut­ing him, jus­tice seemed elu­sive. In 2010, Pa­tel was handed a seven-year jail sen­tence af­ter be­ing found guilty of the man­slaugh­ter of three pa­tients in his care at Bund­aberg Base Hospi­tal.

He was also found guilty of caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm to one pa­tient – Ian Vowles – af­ter re­mov­ing his healthy bowel, leav­ing him an invalid with a colostomy bag.

But the In­dian-born sur­geon, now 67, vowed he was in­no­cent and was freed from jail in Bris­bane in 2012 af­ter his con­vic­tions were quashed.sed. The High Court or­dered re­tri­als and the first of those, sur­round­ing the death of Mervyn Mor­ris, 75, found Pa­tel not guilty. A jury failed to reach a ver­dict in a sec­ond trial

for Vowles.

Pa­tel had moved to Aus­tralia af­ter a trou­bled ca­reer in the US. His li­cence to prac­tise in New York was with­drawn in 2001 af­ter he failed to ex­am­ine pa­tients be­fore surgery.

He then moved to Ore­gon, where the hospi­tal he was work­ing at set­tled five cases be­tween 1994 and 1998, two of which re­port­edly paid out more than $2 mil­lion each – each in­volv­ing him.

Even­tu­ally, in Novem­ber 2013, Pa­tel pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud re­lat­ing to dis­hon­estly ob­tain­ing reg­is­tra­tion and em­ploy­ment as a doc­tor in Queens­land.

Pa­tel, nick­named Dr Death, has been barred from prac­tis­ing medicine in Aus­tralia and has now re­turned to the US.

Nurse Toni Hoff­man, a for­mer col­league, gave ev­i­dence against Pa­tel.

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