Asia-Pacific

US 'Dr Death' jailed for seven years in Australia

Jayant Patel arrives at the Supreme Court (26 June)
Image caption Patel worked as a surgeon at a Queensland hospital

A US surgeon convicted of manslaughter after botching a series of operations has been jailed for seven years by an Australian court.

Jayant Patel, an Indian-born US citizen dubbed "Dr Death" by Australian media, worked at a Queensland hospital between 2003 and 2005.

He was found guilty at the Brisbane Supreme Court earlier this week of the manslaughter of three patients.

He was also convicted of causing grievous bodily harm to a patient.

Patients hidden

Patel had pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Gerry Kemps, James Phillips and Mervyn Morris, and causing grievous bodily harm to Ian Vowles.

Prosecutors argued that Patel's operations were well below the standard of a competent surgeon.

During the 14-week trial, the court heard that he had botched operations, misdiagnosed patients, removed healthy organs and used sloppy surgical techniques during his time at Bundaberg Base Hospital.

Nurses used to hide patients from him because of their concerns about the quality of his work, the court heard.

Prosecutors had requested a 10-year sentence.

Before arriving in Australia, Patel had been banned from conducting surgery in the US states of New York and Oregon.

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