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Dr. Who Cut off KY Man's Penis Cleared by Jury

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. | Last updated on

A Kentucky jury cleared the doctor who cut off a man's penis during surgery. Penis amputee Phillip Seaton was awarded no damages in the case.

Seaton, 64, was suing Dr. John Patterson. He accused the doctor who cut off his penis in 2008 of doing so without his consent during a circumcision procedure, reports ABC News.

During the procedure, Patterson said he discovered the cancer. He said he believed that the penis needed to be amputated right away, and that he had no other options, ABC News reports.

The jury appears to have agreed with Dr. Patterson.

Seaton had sued Patterson for $16 million in damages, saying that Patterson failed to exercise reasonable care when he cut off his penis.

Seaton's attorney argued that Patterson should have woken him up, or consulted with his wife before carrying out the penis amputation.

Seaton had signed a consent form before the circumcision procedure giving Patterson the right to perform surgeries deemed "necessary," according to ABC News.

In medical malpractice cases like these, whether or not the patient consented to the procedure is often a central issue. Patients need to give informed consent to medical procedures. Informed consent usually requires that the doctor sit down with the patient and explain the risks associated with the medical procedure.

But, since Seaton gave consent to any procedures deemed "necessary," it was up to the jury to determine if the penis amputation procedure really was required.

Here, the jury sided with the doctor. The jury forewoman said that they ruled in favor of the doctor after hearing testimony and evidence, ultimately coming to the conclusion that the procedure was necessary to save Seaton's life, according to the Courier-Journal.

In fact, it seems that the penis amputation may have been inevitable.

Patterson cut off about an inch of Seaton's penis during the initial procedure. The rest of the penis was amputated by another surgeon at a later date, according to ABC News. Penis amputee Phillip Seaton also sued the hospital where the procedure was performed, which settled for an undisclosed amount.

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