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Wednesday, 12 June, 2002, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
Kidney surgeons in manslaughter trial
Surgeon John Roberts
Surgeon John Roberts denies the charge against him
Two surgeons have gone on trial accused of manslaughter following the death of a patient who had a healthy kidney removed at a west Wales hospital.

Instead of the diseased organ, Graham Reeves had his healthy kidney taken out during an operation at Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli in January 2000.

Graham Reeves
Graham Reeves died after the operations

Mr Reeves, a 70-year-old single man from Burry Port, died five weeks later on 1 March after being transferred to Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

Consultant urologist John Roberts from Ty Coch, Swansea, and surgeon Mahesh Chard Goel from Burnley, Lancashire, denied manslaughter as the trial began at Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday.

Leighton Davies QC opened the case for the prosecution.

He told the jury the actions of Mr Roberts and Mr Goel "fell so far below the standard of care expected of a reasonably competent surgeon" that it deserved to be condemned as gross negligence.

Mr Reeves - a veteran of the Korean War - was on a life support machine and never regained consciousness following the operation.

Mahesh Chard Goel
Mahesh Chard Goel arrives at Cardiff Crown Court

Mr Roberts has been suspended on full pay since the incident.

Mr Goel, 39, has appeared in a separate preliminary hearing charged with the manslaughter of Mr Reeves.

Both men denied the charge at preliminary hearings and were given bail.

Two independent inquiries have been carried out into the operation but their findings will not be published until after the conclusion of the trial.

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BBC Wales's Hywel Grifith
"This is a complicated medical case"

Where I Live, South West Wales
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