Circumcision Turned Amputation: Doctor Sued For Removing Man’s Penis Without Consent

Frankfort, KY — A Kentucky man that went under the knife for a circumcision only to wake up with an amputation of his penis has asked the Kentucky Court of Appeals to overturn a previous verdict siding with the doctor who performed the operation.

Phillip Seaton was supposed to undergo a standard circumcision as a treatment for an inflammation in October of 2007, but instead woke up to find his manhood missing.

The unscheduled amputation was necessary according to Dr. John Patterson, who discovered during the operation that Seaton had cancer in his penis. Seaton contends, however, that the amputation of his penis was not necessary, because other options could have been available to him, reports The Huffington Post.

The lawsuit contended that Dr. Patterson should have received consent from Seaton before performing the amputation. Seaton’s lawyer, Kevin George, stated:

“The point is… a patient has a right. The doctor does not have the right to do whatever he wants, even if it turns out to be reasonable.”

The jury in the initial lawsuit in 2008 sided with Dr. Patterson, saying that he exercised proper medical care in his decision to amputate his patient’s penis. George contends in the appeal, however, that the pre-surgery consent forms did not allow Patterson to remove Seaton’s manhood, because there was no immediate threat to Seaton’s life, according to The State Journal.

Both sides agree that there was cancer that needed to be removed, but Seaton contends that the situation could have been handled differently, including Patterson consulting with Seaton’s wife before going ahead with the amputation.

Judges Janet Stumbo and Donna Dixon presided over the appeal to the original lawsuit. Dixon asked Patterson’s attorney, Clayton Robinson, if there was another procedure that could have been performed on Seaton to prevent the amputation of the patient’s manhood. Robinson asserted that amputation was the only viable solution.

Stumbo also asked if there was an immediate threat to Seaton’s life. Stumbo stated:

“They could have stopped right there, woken him up. Was it truly an emergency? I think that’s the question.”

Robinson asserted, however, that closing the incision and halting surgery could have risked more complications, and could have been considered malpractice, so instead Patterson decided to do “what he thought he was authorized to do.”

The Kentucky Court of Appeals will make their decision on whether Dr. Patterson had the right to amputate Seaton’s penis in the next two months.