Credit : Eddie Safarik

The court has been told, an elderly patient of Jayant Patel should have been treated with iron supplements instead of rushed into an unnecessary bowel operation that had a high risk of death.

Dr Patel, 59 has pleaded not guilty to the charges of manslaughter of three patients - Mervyn Morris, Gerardus Kemps and James Phillips - and the grievous bodily harm of Ian Vowles.

The offences allegedly occurred between 2003 and 2005 when Dr Patel was the director of surgery at Bundaberg Hospital in Queensland.

The case of Morris who died on June 14, 2003, just after the removal of part of his colon, by Dr Patel is examined by the court. The court has heard that the operation was performed by Dr Patel who was trying to stop a mysterious bleeding coming from the patient's anus.

Brian Collopy, colorectal expert testified yesterday, had said Morris had had since 2,000 radiation proctitis, a chronic side effect of radiation therapy caused the anal bleeding but was not life-threatening.

This elderly man died because he was rushed into an unnecessary major bowel operation which was complicated ... leading to a second operation, and his already sick heart and liver and subsequently his sick lungs, couldn't cope, Dr Collopy told the court.

The risky bowel operation, known as Hartmann's procedure was normally reserved in cases of emergencies, said Dr Collopy.

There was no crisis or emergency ... I'd consider it was inappropriate.

Without the surgery, Dr Collopy said Mr Morris might have lived for years, as the surgery had indeed carried a high chance of mortality.

Ross Martin SC, prosecutor asked, How far below the standard of a competent surgeon would you say this was?

I would say it was well below, said Dr Collopy.

The court heard that radiation proctitis could be treated with iron supplements, a transfusion, steroid or non-invasive heat treatment.

Cross-examination of Dr Collopy is expected to resume in the Queensland Supreme Court on Tuesday.