You ever go into the hospital for a routine operation, wake up and BAM! your penis is missing? Well it happened to Phillip Seaton and he’s having such a hard time coping with his loss that he’s taking his doctor to court.
It began in 2007 when the Kentucky man went in to see Dr. John Patterson of Louisville for a run-of-the-mill circumcision. Seaton was concerned over some inflammation on his penis so he went in for what should have been a cut-and-dry operation. The surgery was specifically for just a circumcision and Seaton should have been snipped and sent off in no time (and with no foreskin). When he awoke from the operation, however, he noticed things weren’t quite as he had remembered.
For one, his penis was gone.
"It didn't have to happen that way," Seaton said when he filed his lawsuit against Patterson in 2008. Four years after the incident first occurred, the case in which Seaton and his spouse are seeking compensation for "loss of service, love and affection” is finally ending up before a court.
Dr. Patterson says that by removing the man’s penis, unbeknownst to him and without any warning whatsoever, was just part of his job. During the operation he says he found signs of cancer and was faced with absolutely no other option that removing the member. The physician’s attorneys say that the decision was “a necessary part of the surgery” and that Dr. Patterson had “no reasonable option” other than removing the whole damn thing.
"While it is unfortunate that he developed this cancer, it is both unfair and unreasonable to blame a physician for providing what was appropriate and necessary care for his condition,” reads a press release issued by Patterson back in 2008.
Dr. Douglas Diekema of the University of Washington tells CBS that "If the situation is truly, imminently life threatening, they can and should act." Though he did not partake in the operation, he notes that "If there is sufficient time to wake the patient and discuss the situation with the patient, that is generally preferred – particularly if the discovery of something like cancer will involve the removal of an organ or limb."
Apparently waking Mr. Seaton up and saying, “Excuse me, may I take your penis?” was simply out of the question.
Seaton’s attorney says that his client should have been woken up and offered the chance at getting a second opinion, or at least offered a chance to approve the operation before physicians went ahead and removed his penis without warning.
The trial against Dr. Patterson will go before a jury starting on Monday.
The Seatons have already reached an undisclosed settlement from the hospital where his penis was cut off.