A US man has taken a doctor to court after he surgically removed his entire penis, allegedly without consent, during a routine circumcision.
Phillip Seaton, 64, woke up at the Jewish Hospital following the circumcision on 9 October 2007 to find his penis completely gone.
Mr Seaton, a lorry driver from Shelbyville, Kentucky, had undergone the circumcision to treat an inflammation problem. His surgeon, John Patterson, said the amputation was necessary because he discovered a rare and deadly form of penile cancer while performing the operation.
Lab tests later proved that he had a cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma.
But Mr Seaton’s lawyer Kevin George maintained the situation was not an emergency, and the family should have been allowed to get a second opinion.
Mr George told the court: “He’s angry because Dr Patterson took off his penis without asking; without giving him a choice; without giving him the opportunity to check around and talk to other people.”
In court, the patient told jurors of the initial moment after being told his penis had been removed.
“I pulled the dressing down, and I didn’t see nothing. Then I came out of the restroom and I said I’m getting the hell out of this damn hospital.”
Now Mr Seaton and his wife, Deborah, are seeking unspecified damages from John Patterson for “loss of service, love and affection”.
Mr Seaton has already sued the hospital, receiving an undisclosed amount of damages in an out-of-court settlement. A civil trial against Dr John Patterson is currently underway.
Dr Patterson, a urologist, defended himself in Shelby County Circuit Court. “What I saw was not a penis. What I saw was cancer,” he said on Monday.
According to Dr Patterson’s lawyer Clay Robinson, another doctor later removed the rest of the organ.
He also contends that Mr Seaton had signed a document authorising necessary treatment in unforseen circumstances.
“Mr Seaton is here today, able to be in this courtroom… because John Patterson saved his life,” Robinson argued.
The court case continues.