Thursday, June 26, 2008


By Nick Bryant - BBC News, Sydney

Jayant Patel faces allegations of malpractice.
In Australia, former patients of an Indian surgeon accused of manslaughter have welcomed his decision not to fight extradition from the US.
Dr Jayant Patel was arrested by FBI agents at his home in Oregon in March.
Serving as the head of surgery at a Queensland hospital between 2003 and 2005, he was linked in a government inquiry to the deaths of 17 patients.
The inquiry said these deaths were a result of alleged medical malpractice on the part of Dr Patel.
He was subsequently charged with 16 offences, including manslaughter, grievous bodily harm and negligence.
Since his arrest, Dr Patel has been detained in a high-security prison in Portland, Oregon, and was expected to wage a lengthy court battle to avoid extradition.
But in a surprise move, his legal team has filed a motion to a US court expressing his "willingness, desire, and intent" to confront the allegations.
According to the motion, he accepted that he must return to Australia to contest the allegations.
The news has been met with delight by some of his former patients, many of whom firmly believe they were adversely affected by his care.
They have fought a three-year campaign to bring him to trial in Australia, and one former patient wept with relief after learning he would be brought back to Queensland much sooner than was thought.



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