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Vijay Mehta

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xx Dr. Patel Most of the Charges about to be dropped
« Thread started on: Jul 5th, 2005, 4:54pm »

Dr. Jayant Mukundrai Patel Class of 1973
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Dr. Patel's mansion in Portland OR
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Toni Hoffman, ICU Headnurse
Australian may make her Erin Brockowich but she is not!
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One of our most (in)famous alumni happens to be Jayant Patel. 55 year old who graduated from M. P. Shah and then finished his MS in Surgery there. He received international attention few months back when they called him Dr. Death or Dr. E Coli. The Premier of his province made it his mission to talk about him during his visit to USA, high level official went to Portland, OR and gave a press conference there to get more media attention over there, Since Dr Patel lives there. (They wanted to flush him out!)
I did not realize the new way of chasing wrong doers in Australia is to tarnish them in media and use the unsubstantialed allegation to indict someone. Now, I know the origin of words "Kangaroo courts"

Disclaimer Statement: Eventhough I am a surgeon and I was trained at the same Medical School in India I have no connection with any doctors key players mentioned herein. But I do know that the politicians and spin doctors in Australia have successfully created a monster out of Dr. Patel without the trial or proper peer reviews. One nurse - who must be now the glamour girl in Queensland has successfully convinced that there is not need of due proecess. This was the nurse who has not seen more than a couple of wound dehiscence in her two decades of nursing at major institutions!

The stupidity award goes to the premier of Queensland who has set new standard of "flushing out" Dr. Patel based on interim report. Why can't he fix his broken health care system?

I wish they had let the court decide whether Dr Patel is guilty or not. I agree with the Civil Liberty Australia that Dr Patel will not be able to get fair trial in Australia.

Good links:
Queensland Hospital Commission Report with all the testimonyand exhibits

Queensland Hospital Commission Report - witness listed alphabetically

Article detailing the entire event

Transcripts of Mr Allen and Dr Woodruff 1st day of testimony

Transcript of Dr Woodruff's testimony

This article has multiple links and lot of information:

Budndaberg Hospital Royal Commission - Interim report

Audit of Dr. Patel's cases over 2 years found 8 and not 87 cases where he may have contributed to death of the patient.,5744,15628042%255E23289,00.html

Freedom of speech - listing some inconsistancies in the charges against Dr. Patel

Audit shows that Dr Patel might not be a monster as it has been painted:

Some of news articles that either quoted or misquoted me

Patel Extradition moves a step closer - Nov 2006,23599,20803057-1702,00.html
« Last Edit: Nov 14th, 2013, 08:23am by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx Jayant Patel .. Chronology
« Reply #1 on: Jul 5th, 2005, 4:56pm »

A chronology of the life and medical career of Dr. Jayant Patel, provided by documents available on internet sites

Name: Jayant Mukundrai Patel

_ born April 10, 1950, Jamnagar, India, wife Kishoree Patel Pulmonogist in Portland OR and brother Ashish Patel.

_ March 11, 1973, bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degree, M.P. Shah Medical College, Jamnagar.

_ March 20, 1976, master of surgery degree, M.P. Shah Medical College.

_ Aug. 8, 1976, certified as resident surgeon, Irwin Group of Hospitals, Jamnagar.

_March 78 - Dec 1981 General Surgery at
Rochester General Hospital.

_ Sept. 25, 1978, certified by the International Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.

July 1982 - June 1984 Surgical Residency at
Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo NY.

_ Jan. 26, 1984, final disciplinary recommendation following hearings by the New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct, ordering Patel to pay a US$5,000 fine, and staying a six-month suspension pending completion of three years on probation. Jayant Patel was disciplined by medical authorities for not bothering to examine patients before operating on them.

_ June 30, 1984, certified as assistant surgical resident from July 1, 1982 to June 30, 1983, and as chief surgical resident from July 1, 1983 to June 30, 1984, at Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, New York.

_ Nov. 1, 1988, certified by The American Board of Surgery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

_ In 1989, Dr. Patel went to work in Portland for Kaiser Permanente. He was voted teacher of the year, in 1991 and 1992, and he received one of the distinguished physician awards in 1995.

_ But by mid-1998, questions about Dr. Patel's work from fellow surgeons led Kaiser to conduct a peer review and to bring his case to the attention of state authorities.

The hospital banned Dr Patel from carrying out surgery involving the pancreas and restrictions were placed on him performing surgery on the liver and ileoanal pouches. His practice was restricted not revoked as many articles state.

_ November 2000: Among the cases that led to the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners' findings were:

* A man, 65, who died in November 1994 two days after Dr Patel performed pancreatic surgery. He had seven litres of blood in his abdomen.

* A woman, 83, who died in November 1996 of post-operative complications, seven days after Dr Patel performed pancreatic and colon surgery. She was found with a litre of blood in her abdomen.

* A man, 67, who died in September 1997 the day after Dr Patel performed liver surgery. He had almost two litres of blood in his abdomen.

* A man, 59, who permanently lost gastrointestinal function in August 1997 after Dr Patel performed a colostomy "backwards".

Dr Patel's involvement in the deaths and injury were uncovered by an inquiry by the private Portland hospital where he was working and the incidents had occurred.

The hospital banned Dr Patel from carrying out surgery involving the pancreas and restrictions were placed on him performing surgery on the liver and ileoanal pouches.

The hospital also implemented mandatory second opinions on all complicated surgeries and filed a report with US authorities.

_June 1998 notification led to the Board of Examiners investigation and subsequent finding against Dr Patel.

On November 1, 2000, Dr Patel was issued with a statewide ban (Oregon) on performing any pancreatic surgery and restrictions were placed on liver and ileoanal procedures.

_ June 25, 1998, Kaiser Permanente Northwest files "adverse action" report with the National Practitioners Data Bank.

_ Nov. 1, 2000, Oregon Board of Medical Examiners officially restricts Patel's surgical practice statewide following Sept. 7 agreement to stipulated order.

But a few months after that finding, Dr Patel was practising surgery in New York, before an April 2001 order from the New York Board for Professional Medical Conduct forced him to surrender his physician's licence.
_ April 23, 2001, Patel signs agreement to surrender his New York medical license.

_ April 1, 2003 One year appointment at surgeon at Bundaberg Hospital. Very high workload and doing major esophagectomies and whipples as well as thoracic surgery probably impressed the administration.

_ March 2004: daughter graduated from Medical School

_ April 1, 2005, Dr Patel was paid one way ticket to USA and he left Australia. ( He did not run away!)

_ June 6, 2005, the Crime and Misconduct Commission of Queensland, Australia, is scheduled to open a public inquiry into patient complaints against Patel during his tenure at Bundaberg Base Hospital.

_June 10, 2005 Kangaroo Court gives interim report. The news media was more than thrilled to have a circus like atmosphere and commission heard lots of charges with no one defending, suddenly the whole province was victim to a mad doctor.

_ June 18 2005: The commission recommended on that Dr. Patel be charged with manslaughter and murder, saying that when "an impostor pretends to be a medical practitioner, and kills a patient whilst attempting a surgical procedure," a murder charge is warranted.

Dr. Patel's lawyer in Portland, Ore., Stephen Houze, called the recommendations "outrageous," noting they came after just two weeks of testimony. Dr. Patel has not been charged with any crimes, he said. If he eventually is, it is hard to imagine how he could get a fair trial in Australia, Mr. Houze said, adding, "We have very grave concerns about this drumbeat of incessant and prejudicial publicity that is saturating all of Queensland, and indeed all of Australia." He said he had met in Portland this week with representatives of the Queensland government, who had a letter for the doctor.

_ June 30, 2005 A clinical audit of cases handled by a surgeon nicknamed "Dr. Death" by his former colleagues has found he contributed to eight patient deaths during his two years at an Australian hospital - far fewer than earlier reported.
The audit did not find any ill will on part of Dr. Patel and also noted that in some cases he got great results after patients were turned away by other practitioners.

Somehow there is very little publicity from government as to how suddenly 87 death is now 8 deaths, and who is responsible for hyped up publicity.

« Last Edit: Jul 8th, 2005, 01:38am by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx I feel your pain .. People of Queensland
« Reply #2 on: Jul 5th, 2005, 11:24pm »

My heart goes out to the patients and their families who suffered at the hand of Dr. Patel. The citizens of Queensland did not deserve to be hurt by their surgeon or their health care system as they did.

But, you are victim of more than one person, you are the victim of a rotten system. And all the villification of Dr. Patel is meant to be the biggest weapons of mass distraction. They are meant to distract you from the fundamental problem facing quality medical care in rural Australia.

Dr. Jayant Patel:
Here is a surgeon who has a history of lack of judgment when it came to doing major surgery. The Kaiser or State of Oregon did not revoke his license but placed the restriction for major surgeries.
Many have commented that he was a bad surgeon. This is easy to say but difficult to prove. So many of these surgeons are technically superior and even know more than average surgeons because they are addicted to doing the big surgeries. What was lacking is not the technical know how but a judgment. This is the reason that he got best teachers award or glowing recommendation from some of his peers.
Unfortunately he was given the position of director of surgery at Bundaberg. Surgeons like him are not as dangerous when they are being monitored by other surgeon but putting them in a leadership position leaves their behavior totally unchecked.

The Hospital Administration:
Any one with the common sense would have asked a simple question as to if Dr. Patel is so wonderful why is he coming all the way to Australia to work, When he has family and big house in USA?
The hospital system in Queensland is grossly under funded and not able to attract good physicians. The rural hospital had trouble attracting any decent physician. Here was a surgeon who loved to operate. From Dr. Patel’s point of view when he was restricted from doing big surgery in Oregon and New Yourk, naturally Australia was a logical option. He loved operating more than anything else.
Who is responsible for not checking in his background thoroughly prior to his appointment? Even if he can hide his professional track record, how come simple thing like his refusal to wash the hands go for such a long time unchecked?

Your politicians:
The system is so broken that when the story leaked out they made a circus of the whole investigation. Your premier became a joke when he decided to send his man to Portland OR to flush him out. I am sure there is a better way to bring a criminal to justice.

Your media:
I guess they must be looking for a sensational story and found one. They fueled all the rumors and no one has asked a simple question as to why all these proceeding had to be a public spectacle and it preceded the report by Peer group (who could be in better position to evaluate Dr. Patel) and they did later on came up with conclusion that he had no ill will and his results are not that bad!

Media hype created victims:
The sensational accounts by some of witness without any proper cross examination contributed to declaring him guilty as charged. The peer review of his cases did not confirm all the horror stories printed in the media and promoted by your premier.

Rampant Racism:
The media has made frequent reference to "Indian trained" when referring to Dr. Patel. They fail to understand that Dr. Patel got his medical school and initial surgical training in India but he completed his surgical residency and Surgical Board in USA. Not only that but he did work for NY and Kaiser in Oregon for 19 years. During which he passed his board, received best teacher's award etc. Why keep blaming the "Indian origin"?

Backlash against Foreign Doctors:
Since Dr Patel was Indian born and USA trained it is understandable that there may be a backlash against all foreign physicians. I hope you do not forget that nearly 20 percent of your doctors are foreigners and in many cases they give state of the art care. There is no guarantee that an Australian born Australian trained doctor would not do the same thing. Being a good or bad physician is not connected to the country of origin.

Where is the check and balances?
The problem was not only that he loved doing major surgery but problem was the medical system in Australia did not have any mechanism for early detection and correction of anyone performing at an unexpected level. I am not sure if some of his bad result had to do with poor nursing care and post op support.

Workload to keep two surgeons busy:
Who will do so much work for so little? He apparently did more than 1200 surgeries in less than 2 years that a very heavy workload.

Toni is no Erin Brockowitch:
As I read the testimony of Toni the head nurse it is obvious that she is no angel. I suspect that she had an agenda from early on and was frustrated by her inability to intimidate Dr. Patel. One of the job of head nurse is to make a team to treat patient but she would tell relatives the patient's condition different from what surgeon was reporting. If she had a difference with the surgeon she needed to take it to authorities but not confuse the patients.

Your Medical system is 20years behind:
What kind of medical system do you have in Australia? One of the key case where the Toni decided Dr. Patel was incompetent was when a patient in his late forties who had esophageal cancer and the bigger hospital refused to operate on him. When Dr. Patel decided to do surgery Toni (the head nurse) decided he was a bad surgeon.
General public may not know this, but a person with esophageal cancer is basically drowning in his saliva, and I have seen even 70 year old getting surgery for palliation. What kind of Medical system you have in Australia where a head nurse decides that a surgeon is incompetent because he attempts to palliate young man with esophageal cancer. I think we need to investigate the surgeon who left him to die drowning in his saliva and the nurse who made a judgment on indication of surgery on such a patient.

A good surgeon in a poorly supported hospital can get better results than a mediocre surgeon in a well supported hospital.

All I can say is you need lot more than just bring Dr. Patel to face the justice. You need the revamping of entire health system or tragedy such as this will continue. Next time you will have surgeon who does not operate on you when you need it for the fear of being labeled “Dr. Death”

Vijay Mehta, M.D.
Temple, TX 76502

I sent this letter to several media in Australia and posted on blogs of several news media to my knowledge not any have published them. I guess the media did want anyone to dampen the ferocity of frenzy they created. - Vijay Mehta
« Last Edit: Jan 7th, 2008, 8:47pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx Inquiry is closed down finally...
« Reply #3 on: Sep 22nd, 2005, 10:50am »

This was a biased commission that was playing more for the media and hype that was created. Finally the supreme court has come to sense and closed down the circus in the name of justice. - Vijay Mehta

Jayant 'Dr Death' Patel's case shut down in Australia

An Australian inquiry into an India-born surgeon linked to the death of 88 patients was scrapped after a judge ruled the investigation's head had showed bias against two health officials called to testify.

Queensland Supreme Court Justice martin Moynihan effectively closed down the inquiry by disqualifying its leader, commissioner Tony Morris, from presiding over any more hearings into how the surgeon, Jayant Patel, was allowed to practise for two years at the rural Bundaberg Base Hospital despite a 20-year history of botched operations in the United States.

Moynihan, ruled that Morris appeared biased against the hospital's former district manager, Peter Leck, and Darren Keating, the hospital's suspended director of medical services.

In a statement, Morris said he was disappointed by the outcome. "Regrettably my passion for finding the truth and my enthusiasm in pursuing lines of investigation has evidently been misconstrued as giving the appearance of prejudgment or bias," Morris said.

"To the extent that anyone involved in the proceedings feels that I was unfair to them, I apologise unreservedly."

But he added, "whilst the inquiry is at an end, the supreme court proceedings cannot undo the fact that the truth has finally emerged."

Premier Peter Beattie, political leader of Queensland state who ordered the inquiry earlier this year after Patel, known to nurses he worked with as "Dr. Death," flew out of Australia, said his administration would continue to work for Justice for the surgeon's former patients.

Report dated September 3, 2005
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xx An appeal to Dr. Phil
« Reply #4 on: Jan 14th, 2007, 1:01pm »

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I am appealing to anyone who is fair minded and can help Dr. Jayant Patel get his fair trial. The letter below was sent to Dr. Phil, because among all the people I know he is one who has the passion, knowledge and resources to fight for the search of truth. You may send this to your congressman or senator or anyone who is working with civil liberties in USA or Australia - Vijay Mehta

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Dear Dr. Phil & Staff,

My name is Vijay Mehta and I am a board certified general surgeon practising in Temple, TX.

Nearly 18 months ago a news item caught my eyes. It was about Dr. Death. According to the reports it was alleged that Dr. Jayant Patel was associated with death of 87 patients over two years out of his 1200+ surgeries.

The stories depicted a rogue surgeon, Dr. Jayant Patel who was hired as a staff surgeon in rural Bundaberg Hospital in Australia and then promoted as the Director of Surgery. He was admired by his superiors and promoted but the head of ICU Nurses felt that Dr. Patel was incompetent. She started a campaign against him but in view of hospital administrators favoring Dr. Patel it went no where. Eventually her persistence paid off and the issue ended up on the floor of parliament. A public hearing was started on June 10, 2005 and the publicity for the case reached the proportion of “O J Trial” trial in USA. Politicians and spin doctors went in overdrive. Australian Premier Betty while visiting USA last year went to Portland OR, the home city of Dr. Patel and gave a press conference to fish him out! This was within two weeks of the beginning of hearing.So past 19 months there has been non stop character assassination and unsubstantiated charges against Dr. Patel.

I noticed that Dr. Patel was from my medical school, so I posted the information my web blog at

Once the hearing started the story took the life of its own. Media frenzy was out of control. Politicians were lining up to reap the benefit of the situation. Hospital chief of staff and director were fired. Health minister who was a contender for the position of premier lost his job and probably killed his chances of ever becoming a premier. The attorney general who wanted the extradition of Dr. Patel and refused to negotiate return of Dr. Patel to answer the accusation with Dr. Patel’s lawyer came under so much fire that she went in depression and quit her job. A book is coming out on Jan 29, 2006. Movie rights have been bought. In all the coverage there has been minimal if any coverage to tell the Patel’s side of the story. They have now accused him for manslaughter of 3 and bodily causing harm to 6 others and working on extradition process.

I received a call from his wife Dr. Kishoree Patel few days ago. At this time they have fired all the lawyers (because they were charging a lot of money and no progress was being made). Dr. Jayant Patel and his family have essentially given up hope of fighting the mighty government of Australia. I shared with her the story of “Oprah before Amarillo trial” and urged them not to give up but prepare to answer the charges against him.

When I was watching your show on “people who have wrongly confessed to crime they have never committed.” (Yes, you will be surprised a full time general surgeon has watched more than 85% of your shows!) And suddenly I realized that if there was any way to assure a fair trial it would be with the help of Dr. Phil.

I hope you can help him get the justice. I strongly believe that Australia has already convicted Dr Jayant Patel. I know you have so many issues you are dealing with at any given time. But I sincerely feel that your involvement in the case will give Dr. Patel the best chance to have a fair trial. Not only that but I strongly believe that by making the scapegoat of Dr. Patel they are covering up the rotten state of health care delivery in rural Australia. Your involvement may prompt them to look at the condition that may have caused such a tragedy.

Some thoughts:
They have all but Convicted him in the court of public opinion no amount of defense can exhonerate Dr. Patel.
What role did the race play? – He is projected as Indian trained when in fact he is trained in New York. His brown skin has played a part also. There has been increase hostility towards foreign trained doctors.
Government has vested interest in making him a scapegoat – Premier Betty has essentially demolished the career of his arch rival and then health minister Mr. Nuttal.
Is he Dr. Death or did they make him Dr. Death. Investigation such as this should be initiated by peer process in confidential manner and not by public circus. Some of the best surgeons I have worked with have highest mortality; this is because they take more difficult cases that others won’t take.
Kangaroo Justice is different than our justice system.

Can he get fair trial?

Media frenzy: Just checking the site of one news organization produced more than 500 articles 99% of them negative about Dr. Patel.

I would greatly appreciate an acknowledgement of this request, even if for some reason you feel this is not an issue you would like to address at this time.

Sincerely yours,

Vijay Mehta, M.D.

« Last Edit: Jul 11th, 2008, 10:16am by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx Jayant Patel, can he get fair trial?
« Reply #5 on: Feb 6th, 2007, 9:44pm »

The government has botched up the investigation from the very beginning.
1. Best way to get to the bottom of truth would have been to convene a panel of peers - other surgeons to review records and interview the patients, relatives and medical staff.
2. This peer review panel should have deliberated in private not in a public spectacle.
3. Dr Patel could have been invited to answer the charges with paid airfare and just compensation for his time.
Then we would have the truth and Dr Patel would have probably co-operated with the investigation.

That is not what happened.
Dr. Patel was hired as a surgeon and promoted to chief of surgery - meaning that his superiors were happy with his performance.

Dr. Patel did nearly 1200 surgeries probably enough for two to three surgeons in that rural setting. This is extremely high surgical volume.

Dr. Patel did some surgeries that had very high mortality to begin with. Resection of esophagus, Whipple operation etc are the procedures that has very high mortality even in best medical centers and with best supportive peri-operative care.

We can not blame Dr. Patel for doing complex surgeries - because he might have felt that without surgery patient has 0% chance and with surgery he may have 10% chance. Which means patient were choosing between a 100% mortality vs. 90% mortality. Surgery may be justified by some aggressive surgeons.

In case of a man who developed bleeding in his pericardial sac and died the death was inevitable unless the pericardial cavity can be decompressed. A surgeon faced with such situation in rural hospital has an ethical dilemma and he has to take action based on his experience. But the general public is only told of how many times Dr. Patel try to puncture his chest.

If the hospital administrators did not feel that they had the adequate peri-operative support for such complex process they should not have given the privileges for such operation. The fact that they gave him privileges means they thought Dr Patel was capable of performing such operations and hospital had facilities to do so.

Premier Betty came to USA within two weeks of start of the inquiry commission and decided to go to Dr Patel's home town to "fish him out" So Premier decided Dr Patel was guilty at the beginning of the hearing. This shows the bias and possibility that Dr Patel can not get a fair trial.

News media was on a feeding frenzy and any story -substantiated or unsubstantiated - was published. This prejudiced the potential jury pool. All they heard about his was he was Dr. Death or Dr. E Coli.

The number of people he is alleged to have killed were also magnified from 4- 87! Even to date different news items refer to different numbers. As far as I read the report he is being charged with four deaths. For God’s sake let us agree as to how many people he is charged with and how many total operations he performed.

More often that not it is mentioned that he absconded to USA while the facts are: his contract was completed, he did not have further business in Australia and government bought him business class ticket. Let us all agree that he DID NOT FLEE to USA but he went back home after completion of his tour on a ticket bought by hospital.

Again these reports have prejudiced potential jury pool.

News media has constantly referred him as Indian trained surgeon. The fact is he graduated from India and got his initial surgical training in India. Then he completed an American Board of Surgery approved residency in New York and completed his part I and Part II of surgical boards. Why can we not say he was American Trained Surgeon? Did this inject a race factor?

Any news to do with Dr. Patel is covered widely in media keeping the bias alive - and unless you are very careful you are likely to prejudge him guilty before trial starts.

The American court will have to decide if Dr Patel indeed can get a fair trial in such a poisoned environment. I am not sure about judicial system there but in USA they are extremely careful not to prejudice the potential jurors.

May be those involved are afraid that having him in Australia will open up a can of worms. Who and how they gave the surgical privileges. Who promoted Dr. Patel and why they did not see the high mortality? Why premier prejudged him? A criminal trial has a very high bar of proof and many embarrassing stories and goof ups are likely to surface.

I have never met Dr Patel but I am a chief of Surgery at a hospital in Texas. I am shocked to see how the whole process of justice has been turned into a Kangaroo Court!
« Last Edit: Mar 11th, 2008, 7:22pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx Finally a different point of view is aired...
« Reply #6 on: Jun 26th, 2007, 7:21pm »

Patel's arrest close after minister's extradition approval
Hedley Thomas
June 27, 2007

THE extradition of rogue surgeon Jayant Patel from the US has been confidentially approved by federal Justice Minister David Johnston in a move that will trigger an arrest in his home town in Oregon.
Sources close to the process told The Australian yesterday that the signing of the paperwork for Dr Patel's extradition was the most significant development to date in the bid to have him returned to Brisbane for a criminal trial.

Senator Johnston, who was in New Zealand yesterday, is expected to announce the latest step on his return to Australia. Dr Patel does not have access to his passport and Queensland police do not regard him as a flight risk.

Senator Johnston's chief of staff, Chris Muir, said from New Zealand last night: "The minister cannot confirm it and the minister cannot deny it - we cannot comment on this. I'm not saying it's right and I'm not saying it's wrong."

The next steps - including an arrest - are matters for US justice officials and US marshals, who have been briefed on the case by their counterparts in the office of the Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions and federal government extradition experts.

It has been more than two years since the alleged fraud and negligence of Dr Patel were exposed, and 18 months since a royal commission-style inquiry linked him to 17 deaths during his two years as director of surgery at Bundaberg Hospital. A series of formal inquiries made d**n
ing findings against the Beattie Government, the public hospital system and Dr Patel.

But a top US surgeon, who is defending and advising Dr Patel in his legal fight with Australian authorities, said yesterday the surgeon was adamant he had done nothing wrong and would fight "tooth and nail" for as long as it took to avoid being extradited.

Vijay Mehta, the chief of surgery at a US hospital and a graduate of the same medical college in India as Dr Patel, urged US justice officials to reject any extradition application from the Queensland and Australian governments.

Dr Mehta said he would continue rallying support for Dr Patel, who faces charges of multiple manslaughter, fraud and grievous bodily harm, until the case against him was shelved.

"He will fight tooth and nail because he knows that when he goes to Australia, nobody in your system will protect him - he is (doomed) and he knows it," Dr Mehta told The Australian yesterday.

"When I look at Jayant Patel, I see a brilliant man in some areas, and I see a man who was lacking in integrity in other areas. But I think our justice system should step in and declare that he can't get a fair trial. No matter how you deal with Dr Patel, he cannot get justice. He is known as Dr Death.

"He really thinks he is not guilty and that the charges are out of line and the statements against him are all wrong. He really believes that he has done nothing wrong and that he was being helpful to Australian people, who are now so ungrateful."

Dr Mehta said Dr Patel's wife, Kishoree, a practising doctor in Portland, Oregon, would stand by her husband and help to fund his legal battle.

"But the way the Queensland Government is dragging its feet, they must know it's going to be a lot harder to bring him back," he said. "They should have taken his offer to return."

Premier Peter Beattie and the then attorney-general, Linda Lavarch, rejected a confidential offer by Dr Patel to return voluntarily to face justice before the state election in September.

In the furore that followed The Australian's disclosure of the rejection, Ms Lavarch resigned, citing depression. The Office of the Queensland DPP had strongly recommended acceptance of Dr Patel's offer because it would have meant a speedy trial instead of years awaiting extradition.

Ms Lavarch's successor, Attorney-General Kerry Shine, said the Beattie Government was confident Dr Patel would get a fair trial in Queensland.

Hedley Thomas is the author of Sick To Death, a newly released book about Dr Patel and how he thrived in a sick health and political system

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I have tried to post my views on many newspaper’s blogs over past 2 years. However, not a single one was ever published my views to my knowledge. Somehow, award winning writer Hedley Thomas found me thru Google and talked to me for few minutes yesterday. Now several news papers and radio stations have interviewed me and I am grateful for that.

There have been a lot of misunderstandings, few of which I would try to clarify:

1. I have never met Jayant Patel or have ever talked to him.
2. I am not defending the medical misjudgments of Dr. Patel.
3. My heart goes out to all those who suffered due to alleged substandard medical care.
4. I am not against bringing him to justice.
5. Dr. Patel does not take my advice as to what to do next.
6. It is true that he happens to come from same medical school that I graduated from, but to my knowledge I left the school before he ever entered the school.

What are my biggest issues?

1. Dr Patel never FLED Australia as it has been reported in more than 90% of news articles. Fact is: his contract had ended and he was promised return ticket to USA, which he was given. He left in broad daylight in full view of everyone. The implication that somehow he escaped the country is totally false.

2. In all news report he has been characterized as Indian trained surgeon. To me if someone graduates from unknown school in third world country and then finishes his surgery at Cornell or Harvard, he should be referred as trained at Cornell or Harvard. Has this to do with inserting some racial bias? I would never know.

3. As the commission began hearing, Premier Bettie was in USA and he gave a press conference in Los Angeles where he mentioned Dr. Patel. He sent his ministers to Oregon to give a press conference to get more news coverage of the issue. He did this to 'fish out Dr. Patel!'

I was shocked. While the commission has barely started it's work, premier (I believe it is equivalent to governor of state here) is trying to fish out some one who is accused but not proven of any wrong doing.

4. For nearly two years Dr. Patel has been on front pages of Australian News media. 99.5% of it is totally negative. Public has not heard single word in his defense.

5. They keep referring to his application being false etc. But no one has asked a simple question, “If Dr. Patel was so bad how come he was hired? How come he was promoted to Chief of Surgery position? How come his one year contract extended to two years?” The real solution lies in the answer to this question.

6. One radio talk show asked me, “what about the family members of those who suffered?” I fully appreciate pain and suffering of all those who went to seek medical care but got hurt instead.
However, it is not only Dr. Patel but the system in Queensland has failed them.
How come he was promoted to Director of Surgery?
Who allowed him to do all these complicated surgeries for two years?
Why the system rewards big operations and leaves small hospitals in a monetarily disadvantaged situation?
Where was the Australian College of Surgeons while this was going on?
Why do they not have guide line as to what level of complex care can be given to patients in rural hospitals?
How come all other care providers let it go so long?
Many issues like this need to be mulled over and real changes have to take place.

7 I just talked to a radio talk show host (Rod or John) from Queensland and he mentioned 100 or more people dieing in hands of Dr. Jayant Patel. This is the news to me!!! The numbers have been thrown all over the charts. If a trained reporter is so misinformed about the numbers how do you expect average Australian to know the facts?

Now with all the hype, the public expectation is so high that he will be brought to Australia and be given maximum punishment.

How would any good lawyer take his case? How would any judge rule any motion in Dr. Patel’s favor? How would any witness come forward to testify in favor of Dr. Patel? If anyone did or say anything in favor of Dr. Patel they may as well go in witness protection program.

Also his return to Australia is going to create lot of problems because once Dr. Patel opens his mouth and gives detail account of what happened many people would have to be accountable.

In my view such professional matter should have been investigated by a professional standard board at the hospital. Then it should have been referred to peer review by other surgeons, if medical incompetence is detected his practice should have been restricted or terminated. These are the people who failed the patients of Queensland.

All above ideas of mine are not something new. They are standard solution to such problems. How come these have not recieved fair attention in the media?

When I was being interviewed by public broadcasting new channel in Australia, Premier Beattie preceded me in the interview. He was heard guarantying the safety of Dr Patel and fair trial for him. Now is he not the same man who came to USA and sent his ministers to fish Dr Patel out even before the commission has finished its mission?

Thank you

Vijay Mehta

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« Reply #7 on: Jun 27th, 2007, 07:50am »

Mail I received in response to my views..

Patel the Pig

Dr Vijay Mehta

After reading your option of the Patel case, I felt compelled to write to you, I have no direct association with Bundaberg or with any person who has a grievance with Patel.

It is Simply, Dr. Jayant Patel has been cited for "gross negligence" by medical boards in two US states. Did Patel forget about this when he decided to set up shop in Queensland and defraud the government and its people? If this man is such an angel, why did he run back to the USA?

In the first instants it is not the whistle blower or the hospital or the Qld Government that is to blame, it is this disgraceful, deceitful and fraudulent scum bags fault innocent people have suffered.
Bring this disgrace to justice as so as possible.


Whyd did you hire - promote and keep a PIG for two years?


The man is not an angel but he is not kind of villain that has been painted. All human beings can not be classified in one or the other group there is a large gray area in between and most of us fall in that category.

He practiced in US for 25 years with much less casualties than 2 years in Australia. Why? Because the checks and balances were not in place.

Justice is what he deserves but lynching he does not. Unfortunately, you have already declared him guilty way before the start of trial.

If he was so bad why did they promote him?
If he was so bad why did they let him finish his contract term?
He never fled Australia - when his contract expired he was entitled one way ticket to USA and that he was given.

There are so many such issues that need to be addressed but keeping everyone focused on his return is the biggest weapon of mass distraction.

Mehta .

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« Reply #8 on: Jun 27th, 2007, 11:14am »

I read with interest your post regarding Jayant Patel ( ). I vehemently oppose your comments. Jayant Patel should be brought to answer on very serious charges, regardless of the state of the health system, regardless of his ethnicity, regardless of the state of the media, regardless of politicians. Jayant Patel deserves a fair trial, and so do the victims (or patients) he treated. Your ad hominem attack against Australia and its health system and Toni the nurse is completely fallacious and says nothing of Jayant Patel's possible incompetence. For example, by saying that Australia's health system is 20 years behind you engage in a pathetic attempt to belittle and insult, while you conveniently avoid the alleged negligence of Patel. What about the fact that Patel had already been reprimanded several times in the US before he moved to Australia? Please refrain from bigoted and racist attacks in future -- its very unprofessional and immature for an ostensibly educated man such as yourself.

Dear anonymous,

I thank you for your views.

It is good to know that after all that has happened you have full faith in your health system.

Any free society must allow free expression of views. It is the expression of diverse views that propels democracy to a higher level.

I apologize for using harsh words such as ‘Australia’s system is 20 years behind’ – may be it is state of the art.

I am simply stating that it was your state of the art system (according to you)
Hired so called incompetent surgeon
They neglected to find out simple facts that a simple Google search would have revealed.
They promoted him to be director of surgery.
He finished his two years without any restriction of his privileges.
It took system so long to address issue of substandard care.

Patel practiced nearly 30 years in USA with minimal disaster but he created havoc in Australia in just 2 years. What can be the reason? My take is the system of checks and balance in US health care.

I would not defend Dr. Patel professional results ever. I would not have hired him, if he was already on the job under me; I would have closely monitored his clinical results. If I were to be a colleague of surgeon like him I would have done everything in my power to go thru proper professional boards to investigate the issue.

But at the same time I would not have his professional competence judged by Morris commission by people who had no expertise in complex surgical issues. I would not have allowed a feeding frenzy by media and new headlines every day for a year to poison the minds of people. I would not have sent two of my ministers to Oregon to ‘fish him out’ even before the commission has a chance to do the job.

Justice is a great goal. Everyone deserves justice – victims of Dr. Patel, Dr. Patel and everyone in the system who had any contribution to such a disaster.

Now having created such an emotional environment it is impossible to give a fair chance to Dr. Patel.

If any one were to testify in his favor – I would worry about his/ her safety.
If judge were to rule any legal motion in his favor – I expect lots of pundits denouncing his action.
And God forbid should any judge wish to come to conclusion that Dr Patel is not guilty of “men slaughter” but professional negligence - you better have curfew in Australia to allow Dr. Patel to leave. This is what makes me feel that Dr. Patel has already been convicted in his absence and he can not get a fair trial.

US Constitution guarantees speedy and fair trial by your peers. I think allowing the Extradition of Dr. Patel would violate his constitutional rights.

Politicians have demonstrated time and time again that they have made up their mind as to the guilt or innocence of Dr. Patel.

How we handle this case has long term implication for the future of health care. It is easier to seek revenge but hard to seek justice.

Vijay Mehta

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« Reply #9 on: Jul 3rd, 2007, 03:34am »

Dear Doctor,

I'd like to comment on your new theory that a person suspected of multiple homicides in his or her capacity as a surgeon can avoid a trial in the country he is to be charged by virtue of having received media exposure there. It's novel, I'll give you that. Mind you, I am more than a little peeved that you imply we Australians are a lynch mob. You must have spent some time here amongst us before coming to that conclusion. Or are you judging us on heresay? Is that the sort of justice you seek for Patel? After the treatment one of our citizens got in the US recently (I refer to David Hicks, consigned to years torture in Guantanamo Bay), you surprise me with your naive view of your adopted country. And you're in the Deep South where people with your colour of skin get lynched. If I thought you had any chance of success in undermining Patel's facing the music for his actions, I'd be alarmed. I think the Americans are fair and bright enough to let this extradition proceed. Thank you again for the insult to Australia and Australians. It's not enough that one Indian surgeon mutilates and kills 17 of us under his 'professional' care, but another Indian surgeon tells us what a bunch of unscrupulous thugs we are. However high-minded you thought your motives were, you come out of this one far less clean than you imagine. You've taken on some of the aura of Patel, permanently.

Greg Hamilton
Australian citizen and a subject of your insulting remarks

Dear Mr. Greg Hamilton,

1. Thank you for your comments.
2. I agree with you that if rights of David Hicks for a fair trial were violated it was wrong. Many people have trouble with the concept of ‘fair trial.’ And civilized society embrace the concept of ‘fair trial’ not so much to protect on individual or the other, but it is more a reflection of who we are as a society. Lynching occurs when our emotions run so high that we chose need for taking revenge over the individual rights to a fair trial.
The injustice in this affair is that because of government bungling, David Hicks never really answered for his acts of terrorism. Like Patel, he was neutralised as a problem for the government.
3. From your email, seems like you have already pronounced Dr. Patel guilty as charged and not a single opening statement has yet been made! That is precisely what I am talking about.His leaving the country under a cloud has done the pronouncing, not I. His leaving like a thief in the night with such charges hanging over him say that he is sure he'll be found guilty, not that he's sure he won't get a fair trial. Is this proper conduct for a person who expects us to place our lives in his Hands? I think not.

4. Now if someone has killed 17 people should he not face justice? Absolutely yes. QED
5. Just for a minute let us presume that Dr. Patel killed all these people and mutilated many more. Does it not sound weird to you that someone from another country can come to Queensland and reign terror for two years, do all these horrible things and leave Australia with the ticket paid by your government? Can one person single handedly do all this? There must be many more people in the system who actively or passively allowed this to happen. So, why after all this lengthy investigation only one person who has been charged is Dr. Patel? Here lies my concern. The government and media has created an image that somehow Dr. Patel was so vicious and incompetent monster who came to Australia, killed and maimed hundred and than escaped to USA. That is not the case. If this has happened the entire system of checks and balance has failed you. And just by hanging Dr. Patel your problem is not going to be solved.The government here has corruptly protected Patel from answering to justice. That is how the Queensland governments work. If he has an advantage anywhere in a court, it's in Queensland. I was the victim of a Brisbane surgeon who took a tumour out of my jaw but left large pieces of pared jaw-bone in the closed wound prior to leaving for a holiday in Paris. I attempted suicide from the agony the rejection of the bone caused, neutralising the pain-killers I was taking. I had to pull out the bone pieces with pliers from my car toolbox. No doctor I visited would agree to intervene because they detected litigation. My action against him failed because a corrupt medical board did not do its duty. Surgeons are a protected species in Queensland. Your contention to the contrary is mere legal tactics designed to rescue a colleague.

6. Morris commission was public indictment of Dr. Patel for months it was the most watched show in Australia and all you heard was how criminal Dr. Patel was. Finally, Supreme Court of Australia put an end to it because it was unfairly biased against chief of staff and hospital administrators. Many of the testimonies presented in that public forum would have never been allowed in a court of law. This is the prime reason why most Australians have already pronounced Dr. Guilty as charged and much more.

7. Your premier Bettie came to USA within weeks of the hearing by Morris commission and sent his ministers to give a press conference in Oregon to get media coverage and ‘flush Dr. Patel’ out!!! Premier Bettie set a new record, in pursueing an accused.
He claims that he has been extremely careful in this case than ever before. Now, if in the state of being extremely careful Premier Bettie can screw up process so well, what do you think he would do when he is not being careful? We should sue Premier Bettie for criminal negliance in messing up this case!
Now, why would your government official do all these when an inquiry is already in progress and we have extradition treaty? Could it be that by this time Beattie and company had already decided that Dr. Patel is guilty as charged?
8. When a physician kills someone in the process of medical care, it should be handled by professional committee made up of other care givers who are familiar with complexities. The decision to operate or not, what operation to perform, risk versus benefit of surgery are extremely complex and two good surgeons may disagree on a given patient. Surgical care is not risk free. People do die. People do end up worse after treatment than before. How are we going to decide if in a particular case it was improper? Monday morning quarterbacks are always smarter and have better vision.
9. You seem to be offended by my remarks coming from a non-Australian. I have followed this case with interest and trust me as I read all those testimonies I have felt the pain and desperation of people of Queensland. Long waiting list, shortage of competent and caring caregivers in small places, system that rewards hospital when they perform procedures, administrators and supervisors who essentially did not pay any attention to mounting number of dead and maimed has lead us to the current situation. It is not one out of control incompetent ‘Dr. Death” as they would have you believe.
10. Why am I investing my energy in this case? As I have said many times before, being a surgeon, I have dedicated my entire life to care for my patients in the best possible manner. Having a fellow surgeon who might have hurt so many people is painful. And by no means, I want him to ‘get away’ with it. I hope Dr. Patel and many others like him take this moment to reflect upon our mission as physicians. We have a license to heal and not license to kill!
11. My main mission is to let many Australian know that may be you are victim of biggest campaign of mass distraction. The real issues will be buried under the rug. As long as Dr. Patel fights the extradition, you some of you will wake up and ask, how can one man do so much damage? How many others who have let this happen are walking free? What can be done in long run to change the system?
12. It is your system that has failed you and not a single surgeon.
13. This case may also highlights the inability of our proression as physician or surgeons to police ourselves. In a long run this will be very detrimental to our mission. Why do we need Tony Hoffman to diagnose the problem? Why do we need Morris investigate? Once we turn over the quality control of our noble professions to others, we are doomed.
14. What allowed Dr. Patel to do more damage in Australia in 2 years than in USA over 20 years? They all need to be brought to justice.
15. I apologize for the pain my views might have created in the hearts of many citizens of your country, trust me that was not my intention at all. You are not thugs but part of your system may be.


Vijay Mehta

I thank you for taking the time to answer the points I raised. I defended David Hicks right from the start, not the individual, but the principle of habeas corpus and detention without charge and trial. I was concerned that if it's okay for a lousy terrorist, it will soon be okay fior the rest of us when times get tougher. But Dr Patel doesn't impress me as a man representing any noble principle. If he does, he should make it clear, and regain our confidence in him, and the medical profession generally.

Greg Hamilton


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« Reply #10 on: Jul 3rd, 2007, 6:23pm »

response to my # 6
The hospital administrators said they viewed the hospital as a business, and they needed Patel more than the bodies he was leaving around the place. I won't buy you argument that the nurse complainant was out of line. I've has a similar experience to hers.

Response to # 7
Premier Beattie is a clown and a disgrace to our nation. he realises this, and has announced that he is quitting. Good riddance.

Response to #8
I've been a victim of a surgeon and the committee you suggest we should trust. They all ran for cover in a cowardly way. I believe in a bigger reality, so I contained the sense of injustice I felt. these people injurted themselves far more than they did me. Medical people are not above the law.

Response to # 9

I agree that our system is stuffed because we're aping the American model, leaving behind what I consider to have been the best in the world. That fact does not exonerate Patel or anyone else who abuses the dysfunction of our political system.

Response to # 12
Sorry. My personal experience leads me to think otherwise, as stuffed as the system is. The surgeons are making hay rather than standing up to bad government.

Response to # 13
Alas, our system, especially the Queensland side of it, is corrupt, and a disgrace. Unfortunately, the medical profession is undistinguished in its reaction to those dreadful circumstances. It's a conservative profession, and one that has lost most of the respect people once had for it.

I thank you for taking the time to answer the points I raised. I defended David Hicks right from the start, not the individual, but the principle of habeas corpus and detention without charge and trial. I was concerned that if it's okay for a lousy terrorist, it will soon be okay fior the rest of us when times get tougher. But Dr Patel doesn't impress me as a man representing any noble principle. If he does, he should make it clear, and regain our confidence in him, and the medical profession generally.

Greg Hamilton


Dear Mr. Hamilton,

In a weird sense of way you and me are both on the same page when it comes to principal of justice. Dr. Patel may have impressed you as a monster at this time. But, I have a feeling that once the whole truth comes out many will see a totally different side of the man who worked from 6 AM to 9 PM. I hope this hysteria calms down to people can actually hear what he is saying. Don't forget for past 25 months there has been little if any coverage on good side of Dr. Patel.

Be patient.

Vijay Mehta

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« Reply #11 on: Aug 4th, 2007, 10:51am »

In an article to day, finally it is being reported that charges against Dr Jayant Patel up might have been sexed up just like the weapons of mass destruction.,21598,22185338-949,00.html
Red tape sees Dr Patel slowly slipping away
By Renee Viellaris

August 03, 2007 10:00pm
QUEENSLAND prosecutors are struggling to extradite disgraced surgeon Jayant Patel on charges of manslaughter.

Eighteen months after it was announced Dr Patel would be charged over the deaths of his patients, Queensland prosecutors have still failed to meet a standard of proof required in the US.

Information obtained by The Courier-Mail reveals that Queensland is not ready to apply for extradition and has been told by US authorities to strengthen its case.

The former Bundaberg Base Hospital surgeon faces three counts of manslaughter, five of grievous bodily harm and numerous counts of fraud.

Originally, it was announced that Dr Patel would face four counts of manslaughter, eight of grievous bodily harm and 16 of fraud.

A commission of inquiry into the circumstances sparked by Dr Patel found that the Indian-trained surgeon had contributed to the death of 17 patients and he had operated outside the scope of his expertise.

Dr Patel hastily left Australia in 2005 when concerns were raised about him in Parliament.

Weeks later it was revealed that he had been banned in the US from performing the very surgery he was undertaking in Bundaberg.

It sparked a political nightmare for Premier Peter Beattie, who established a commission of inquiry and introduced sweeping health reforms intended to fix a crippled health system.

The revelations also highlighted Queensland's reliance on overseas-trained doctors and the poor vetting processes in place.

The US will only agree to Dr Patel's extradition if it can prove the intent element in its brief of evidence.

A spokeswoman for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions told The Courier-Mail proceedings against Dr Patel were not being delayed.

"Consultation between the relevant authorities and the need to refine aspects of the documentation is normal practice in extradition proceedings involving overseas jurisdictions, especially in relation to matters as complex as this one," the spokeswoman said.

"The warrants issued late last year in relation to a number of charges against Jayant Patel, including three charges of manslaughter and five charges of grievous bodily harm, remain in force and the extradition application is being finalised on that basis."

Here are my thoughts:

Standard of proof

When police and DA wants to charge someone they still need enough evidence to justify the charges. Just because they think someone has committed the crime is not enough. Charging someone with much more than what the evidence can support actually makes your case weaker. In case of Dr. Patel the whole process driven by press and politician that Government has not done a good job of charging him only for the crimes that can be supported by hard evidence.


Any physician taking care of the patient is likely to end up with bad results. Patient do die. Some die due to their medical condition, some due to physician negligence and others due to unexplained reasons. Just the fact that patient died is not enough to accuse someone of manslaughter.


There has been no evidence that Dr. Jayant Patel had any intention of harming any person. On the contrary he was hardest working physician who was there day and night for his patient. So patient died inspite of his intention to save them.


Originally it was claimed that he will face 16 counts of fraud! So far the only one that is clear is that Bundaberg hospital was not told clearly about his license restriction. Even in that charge Dr Patel faxed his license during the application process and the page that came thru fax had a notation "see explanation" We all know sometime while faxing the maching may take two pages instad of one and the recipient may not get all the pages. I do not know where they come up with 16 counts.

Fair trial:

The degree of misinformation spread by the government has made it impossible for Dr. Patel to get a free trial.

To all the physicians who are silent in Australia now...

Have you heard, "they came for communist and I kept silence because I was not a communist, they came for jews and I kept silence because I was not jew they came for me and no one said anything because there was no one left to speak for me!" Medical care is known to result in death or disability, some of them may be anticipated others may not be. What process is going to be used to charge someone with bodily harm or manslaughter in future. If you do not speak now, who knows who may be next?

To Autralian Civil Liberties Union

Beatie & company have gone on a rampage in violating the civil rights of Dr. Patel. They have made a monster out of them to a degree that has intimidated the voices of reason in your society. As hard as it may sound this is the time to speak up. In a civilised society we must guard the civil rights and right to a fair trial to everyone, regardless of what perception we may have about him.

To the press

It is about time you report beyond hypes and innuendos. There is so much of Jayant Patel story that has not been reported. Will someone stand up and report the balance of the story?

Best wishes to all of you in Australia from Vijay Mehta.
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 8th, 2007, 07:32am »

Academic says time needed for Patel extradition

Posted Tue Aug 7, 2007 11:00am AEST

An expert in international law says a delay in the extradition of Dr Jayant Patel from the United States is justified if more time is needed to ensure legal documentation is correct.

A News Limited paper has reported that Queensland prosecutors are fumbling the proceedings to bring Dr Patel to Queensland to face charges of manslaughter, grievous bodily harm and fraud.

But Professor Sam Blay from the University of Technology Sydney says that the case could collapse if the extradition documentation does not establish the alleged activity is a crime in both Australia and the United States.

"If you are asking a sovereign country to extradite someone to your shores for a crime that you claim they have committed - you do have an obligation to ensure the proper documentation has been set out very well, if not, you'd fail," he said.

"It goes without saying that the time spent to ensure the proper documentation has been made out is actually worth every minute."

Just because you created a hype in your country with Morris commission and declared Dr Patel guilty does not mean USA is going to hand over Dr Patel to you. As a soverign nation and with a country that has a better justice system it is important to prove that Dr Patel was not only incompetant but had ill intention. Politicians are still making statements that "there is not going to be any changes in languages or charges filed - but reality indicate otherwise."

People when are you going to ask the hard questions to your politicians to explain what is going on? Why Beattie Government did not accept Dr. Patel's offer to come earlier to answer the charges? - Vijay Mehta
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 6th, 2007, 09:18am »

'Hard' for Patel to get fair trial
November 5, 2007 - 5:55PM

Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O'Gorman believes a US-style cross-examination of jurors is the only way to ensure disgraced former surgeon Dr Jayant Patel gets a fair trial.

Indian-trained Dr Patel has been linked to the deaths of 17 patients at Bundaberg Base Hospital.

The commonwealth is in the process of extraditing him from the US on 16 charges, including three of manslaughter.

It is expected Dr Patel, who lives in Portland, Oregon, in America's northwest, will be arrested by US marshals once the final paperwork is completed between Australian and US authorities.

The arrest could come before Christmas.

Dr Vijay Mehta, a friend of Dr Patel based in Texas, has said he doubts whether the surgeon would get a fair trial in Australia.

Bond University legal academic Professor Eric Colvin said he was confident jurors could ignore any prejudicial information they had of Dr Patel, if he came before a Queensland court.

"What the court will do is warn the jury to put aside any preconceptions about the case," Prof Colvin said.

But Mr O'Gorman said the list of questions the judge would put to jurors would not test their honesty to the oath.

He said a US-style cross-examination of jurors, to weed out any bias or preconception of Dr Patel, would be a better way to ensure fairness.

"Unless you question jurors ... you rely on their goodwill and that's a pretty fragile thing to hang somebody's freedom on," Mr O'Gorman said.

Mr O'Gorman said there had been "intense and unrelenting" media coverage of the Patel story - evidenced by the fact he was so widely recognised as Dr Death.

"It is an emotive case and the race factor can't be denied," he said.

"A number of overseas and Indian-trained doctors complained after the Patel scenario emerged that they were being targeted."

Meanwhile, Dr Mehta said he had been inundated with emails from Australian supporters.

He said despite the former Bundaberg surgeon's notoriety, many Australians believed he was "a great man".

"Why is nobody speaking in the media? Because they are scared," the senior surgeon told ABC radio.

I agree whole heartedly. The jury needs to be questioned in American Style where they are quizzed about their past experiences or beliefs that would preclude them from being objective. Just because judge tell them few times to ignore the news coverage and stories they may have heard is not good enough and anyone with common sense knows that. I am glad that Civili liberties union in Aussie is paying attention to this case. They need to be concerned about flurry of manslaughter charges too.

- Vijay Mehta

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« Reply #14 on: Nov 7th, 2007, 10:37am »,23599,22633818-29277,00.html

Police 'understand' angst over Patel case
October 23, 2007 11:00am
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QUEENSLAND'S police chief says he understands the "angst and concern" of patients over a decision not to pursue charges against the former supervisor of rogue surgeon Jayant Patel.

But Commissioner Bob Atkinson said he believed there was a sound case for the extradition of Dr Patel from the United States to face charges in a Queensland court.

Indian-born and trained Dr Patel worked as director of surgery at Bundaberg Base Hospital in southeast Queensland.

He fled to the US in April 2005 and has been linked to the deaths of 17 former patients at the hospital.

Queensland authorities last week ruled out any attempt to prosecute Darren Keating, who was the director of medical services at Bundaberg Hospital at the time Dr Patel worked there, because the time limit for such action had run out.

This was despite a 2005 inquiry finding Dr Keating had allegedly provided false or misleading information to the Medical Board of Queensland about Dr Patel's registration.

The Queensland Patient Support Group, headed by Ian Fleming, a former patient of Dr Patel, at a meeting yesterday passed a motion of no confidence in Police Minister Judy Spence and Mr Atkinson.

Mr Atkinson, who has met patients, said he was not aware of the vote, but regretted any angst caused by charges not being pursued.

"Obviously this is something that has caused a great deal of angst and concern," Mr Atkinson said.

"On a positive note, the efforts to expedite Dr Patel from the United States, I think, are moving ahead as well as they can."

He said the federal attorney-general's office was liaising with US justice department authorities.

"It's a big thing to endeavour to convict a doctor for manslaughter of the doctor's own patients," Mr Atkinson said.

"We think we've got a very sound case

I am puzzled by the decision to let Dr Keating go. If as alleged Dr Patel is guilty of multiple manslaughter than logically lot of other people are involved in it too. By allowing him to get away with it or sanctioning his behavior.

How come Dr. Patel is the only person charged? If statute of limitation expired for Dr Keating why not for Dr. Patel? So when Dr Keating sends false information to the Board that is a forgivable crime?

As a supervisor of Dr Patel and Director of the hospital the welfare of the patient and delivery of quality medical care was his responsibility.

- Vijay Mehta
« Last Edit: Nov 7th, 2007, 10:39am by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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