Scalpel
A legal battle over a surgical procedure ended Wednesday. Image: aesop/Flickr/CC BY-SA

A Kentucky truck driver has lost his case against the urologist who allegedly amputated his penis without consent. The jury handed down the verdict in the Shelby County Circuit Court on Wednesday.

Cancer found during procedure

Phillip Seaton, 64, went to Dr. John Patterson of Frankfort, Ky., in 2007 for a circumcision to relieve inflammation in his penis. During the procedure, however, Patterson found a potentially lethal type of penile cancer and decided to amputate an inch off of Seaton’s penis.

Jury returns verdict

The six-man, six-woman jury returned a verdict of 10 to 2 against the Seaton’s claim that he had not agreed to the operation.

Seaton signed a consent form prior to the surgery, giving the doctor permission to perform additional procedures if other conditions became apparent during the operation. However, according to Louisville television station WLKY, Seaton is illiterate.

Other doctors testify

Urologist Dr. David Benson testified that he would not have performed the procedure without first consulting with the patient and his family. He also added that he could “not identify any emergency that dictated an amputation,” and that such procedures could be “psychologically debilitating.”

Dr. William Monnig, another urologist, testified that delaying treatment to consult with the patient would have allowed the potentially lethal cancer to spread.

During his closing arguments, Seaton’s attorney Kevin George, said “Phillip has changed. He was mutilated. His manhood was taken.”

Attorney plans to appeal

George told reporters he plans to appeal the decision on the grounds that a doctor can only perform additional procedures during an operation if there is an immediate threat to the patient’s life. “There was no emergency, no reason to do it,” he said.

‘Justice was done’

Patterson’s attorney, Clay Robinson, said that “justice was done,” and added that recovering from a lawsuit was difficult for people in the medical profession, even if the case ends in their favor.

‘Loss of service, love and affection’

Seaton, who was asking for $16 million from Patterson to compensate for “loss of service, love and affection,” refused to comment after the decision.

Sources

MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44259849/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/#.TlVmq2WP-_0
CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20096826-10391704.html
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/24/ky-jury-rules-against-pen_n_935440.html

 

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