US trucker's penis amputated 'during circumcision'

  • Published
Phillip Seaton and Deborah Seaton
Image caption,
Phillip Seaton and wife Deborah have sued for "loss of service, love and affection"

A truck driver in Kentucky whose penis was amputated during an operation is suing the surgeon, claiming it was done without his consent.

Phillip Seaton says his penis was removed during what was supposed to have been a circumcision to treat inflammation four years ago.

Dr John Patterson says he amputated because he found life-threatening cancer during the operation.

The Seatons have already sued Jewish Hospital, where the surgery took place.

The facility settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

'Loss of service'

Mr Seaton and his wife, Deborah, are suing Dr Patterson for damages.

On Monday, Mr Seaton's lawyer told jurors during opening arguments in the civil case in Shelbyville, Kentucky, that his client no longer felt like a man.

Image caption,
Dr John Patterson (right, with his lawyer last week) says he found cancer during the surgery

The lawyer, Kevin George, said Dr Patterson had never given any indication before the 2007 procedure that Mr Seaton was suffering from cancer.

"He's angry because Dr Patterson took off his penis without asking; without giving him a choice; without giving him the opportunity to check around and talk to other people," Mr George was quoted by Associated Press news agency as telling the court.

He showed jurors four photographs of Mr Seaton's crotch, saying: "You can see there's nothing there."

Clay Robinson, a lawyer for Dr Patterson, said his client had only removed the tip of the penis after he had found cancer.

He also contends that Mr Seaton had signed a document authorising necessary treatment in unforseen circumstances.

He said another doctor had later removed the rest of the organ.

"Mr Seaton is here today, able to be in this courtroom... because John Patterson saved his life," Mr Robinson said.

Mr Seaton and his wife are seeking unspecified damages for "loss of service, love and affection".

Penile cancer is rare, with only 1,360 new cases and 320 deaths estimated in the US in 2011, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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