A Kentucky man who is suing his surgeon for amputating part of his penis without his consent was at the Kentucky Court of Appeals this week to argue his case further.
In 2007, Phillips Seaton of Waddy, lay on Dr John Patterson’s operating table for a procedure intended only as a circumcision to treat an inflammation.
But during the surgery when the doctor discovered a cancerous growth, he took action to remove it along with part of Seaton’s organ, relying on what Seaton’s lawyer believes is a ‘vague’ medical waiver signed by a man who clearly did not understand it.
Distressed: Phillip Seaton, with wife Deborah, returned to an appeal’s court to sue a doctor for amputating part of his penis without his consent
Kevin George told the appeals panel that the medical waiver signed by his client contains extremely broad language and that Dr. John Patterson should have sought consent before removing the penis.
‘The point is… a patient has a right,’ George said. ‘The doctor does not have the right to do whatever he wants, even if it turns out to be reasonable.’
Judges Janet Stumbo and Donna Dixon took in the 30 minutes of arguments in Frankfort over whether a judge erred in the jury instructions and if the pre-surgery medical consent form was valid or the language in it proved to be too vague.
Judge Michael Caperton missed the arguments. Stumbo said Caperton mistakenly went to Louisville for the case, but would listen to a recording of it later.
Stumbo said a decision is expected in about two months.
Patterson, a Kentucky-based urologist, maintains he found cancer in the man’s penis during surgery and that it had to be removed. The patient claims the surgery was supposed to be a circumcision and he never authorized the amputation, nor was he given a chance to seek a second opinion.
The Seatons sued Patterson in Shelby County Circuit Court in 2008 after an operation that resulted in the amputation. Seaton, now in his 60s, was having the procedure on Oct. 19, 2007, to better treat inflammation.
The Seatons also sued Jewish Hospital, where the surgery took place. The hospital settled with the Seaton and his wife, Deborah, for an undisclosed amount.
Seaton, sporting glasses and a long, gray and white ponytail, sat quietly as the attorneys recounted the details of the case and argued over whether the judge’s rulings and the jury’s outcome were correct.
‘No comment right now,’ Seaton said as he left the courtroom.