width=180One of the reserve jurors was forced to step in, to replace a juror that has been discharged in the manslaughter trial of surgeon Jayant Patel.

The beginning of the third day of Dr Patel's trial was delayed nearly half and hour this morning for legal argument.

As proceedings continued, Justice John Byrne told the jury that one of their members had been discharged and a replacement would need to be chosen from the reserves.

The proceedings resumed, after a male reserve was chosen. One the first day of trial, a regular 12-member jury was selected, as well as 3 reserve jurors.

The reserves were selected due to the potential length of the trial which is estimated to last for at least six weeks.

Dr Patel, 59, has pleaded not guilty to three charges of manslaughter over the deaths of patients Mervyn Morris, Gerardus Kemps and James Phillips at the Bundaberg Base Hospital between 2003 and 2005 while he was director of surgery.

The surgeon has also pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily injury to Ian Vowles.

Witnesses from Bundaberg Base Hospital are called to present new evidence today. Yesterday, the court heard that the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners had banned the surgeon from performing complex surgery in 2000, without first getting a second opinion.