Patel's junior doctor formed opinion on surgery years later

A SURGEON who worked with Jayant Patel and claimed his operation on an elderly man was not justified formed that opinion more than nine years after the procedure.

Emma Igras was Patel's junior doctor in 2003 at the Bundaberg Base Hospital.

In Patel's manslaughter trial on Monday, defence counsel Paul Smith grilled Dr Igras about the basis for her opinion on whether operating on patient Mervyn Morris's colon was appropriate.

Dr Igras gave evidence earlier this month when she said she did not consider Patel had any justification for doing the operation, which involved removing part of Mr Morris's sigmoid colon to stop rectal bleeding.

Dr Igras confirmed to Mr Smith she did not give that opinion to the Crime and Misconduct Commission or at Patel's committal hearing.

"At no stage in the committal hearing did you say this operation was not justified," Mr Smith stated.

Dr Igras replied: "That is probably true".

Justice George Fryberg asked Dr Igras when she formed this opinion.

"Only reasonably recently when this trial was back up again and everything was back to the forefront," she said.

Dr Igras said her recently completed medical qualifications and experience gained since 2003 contributed to her opinion.

Patel has pleaded not guilty to unlawfully killing Mr Morris, who died in post-operative care at Bundaberg Base Hospital in June 2003.

The Crown alleges Patel misdiagnosed Mr Morris instead of recognising he had radiation proctitis, inflammation from radiation treatment Mr Morris underwent for prostate cancer.

The jury has heard Mr Morris had a checkered medical history, including heart disease, cancer, malnutrition and liver problems.

The trial continues.


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