When a Kentucky man went in for a routine circumcision to treat inflammation, he woke up to discover that his penis was no longer there — without his consent.On Aug. 22, Phillip Seaton, a 64-year-old truck driver, described his horror to the jury during opening statements at Shelby County Circuit Court:
“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.'”
Dr. John Patterson — the physician who performed the 2007 surgery at Commonwealth Urology — claims that what he saw was “not a penis,” but instead “cancer,” reported the Associated Press.
According to the complaint filed, Seaton’s surgery was not an emergency procedure and the physician could have stopped at any time to allow the patient’s input before the drastic anatomy change.
“Dr. Patterson intentionally and without permission inflicted inputs on Phillip by removing his penis,” it said.
The plaintiff alleges that he had specifically asked pre-operation that nothing but foreskin be removed.
Seaton’s wife, Deborah — who was waiting in the hospital room at the time — was also not informed, but the urologist explained that it was because she did not accompany her husband to any of his earlier visits.
The defence further claims that a document authorizing the treatment of any unforeseen circumstances had been signed and read a loud to the illiterate plaintiff before his operation.
Patterson’s lawyer, Clay Robinson, argued that his client “saved [Seaton’s] life” by removing part of his penis, but that Patterson only removed less than an inch and another doctor finished the job.
Seaton also charged Dr. Oliver James — the anesthesiologist — with allowing Patterson the opportunity to cut off his penis by switching to a stronger anesthesia and took away Seaton’s right to “obtain a second opinion.” The plaintiff had specifically asked that general anesthesia not be used due to a sleep apnea disorder, said the complaint.
During the first day of trial, Seaton’s lawyer, Kevin George, showed the court four photographs of the plaintiff’s groin and said that his client “doesn’t feel like a man anymore.”
Seaton’s wife is also suing the two doctors, claiming “loss of service, love and affection” after her husband’s loss.