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Penis Amputation: Jury Says Not Malpractice


Posted on Aug 26, 2011

A doctor has won a medical malpractice case in a Kentucky court this week, in regard to a 2007 circumcision which turned into a partial penis amputation.

Truck driver Phillip Seaton, 64, of Mount Eden, Kentucky, went in for a standard circumcision procedure, when Dr. John Patterson of Jewish Hospital Shelbyville in Frankfort, Kentucky, noticed a cancerous tumor during surgery. He performed a partial amputation without waking Seaton to ask for his permission, expecting to discover a fungal infection.

Seaton sued Dr. Patterson for $16 million. He and his wife, Deborah, had already sued Jewish Hospital Shelbyville and the anesthesiologist, and settled for an undisclosed amount. This Wednesday, the jury decided in favor of Dr. Patterson in Shelby County Circuit Court, near Louisville. They unanimously decided that the doctor had exercised proper care. They also voted 10-2 against Mr. Seaton that he had not consented to the amputation.

The plaintiffs plan to appeal. Several issues remain uncertain. First, a doctor can change a procedure mid-operation only if the patient's life or health is in peril, according to Seaton's lawyer. Experts on both sides disagree on this question. Also up for debate is whether Dr. Patterson should have awoken the patient to obtain his permission.

If you would like more information about how medical malpractice and accident cases work in the state of New York, I encourage you to explore my educational website. If you have legal questions,  I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected] to answer your questions. That's what I do every day. I welcome your call.

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