Doctor explains genital amputation

By PAUL GLASSER Published:

Dr. John Patterson, the Frankfort physician sued for medical malpractice over amputating a man's penis without his consent, says it was cancerous and the operation was "medically necessary."

Phillip Seaton complained to Patterson in October 2007 about foreskin soreness and drainage from his penis, a press release issued Wednesday said.

Patterson recommended circumcision but during the course of surgery he discovered a portion of Seaton's penis had become cancerous, it said.

"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," according to the press release.

After the tissue was removed, pathology confirmed that it was in fact squamous cell carcinoma, the press release said.

Clay Robinson, Patterson's attorney, did not return a call seeking comment. Robinson said in the press release that Patterson would not conduct an interview.

Seaton filed the malpractice suit in Shelby County where he lives.

"I do not believe in trying cases in the news media and will not be drawn into the media circus surrounding this case," Robinson was quoted in the press release.

"Dr. Patterson and I look forward to a full and fair hearing of this matter in a court of law."

According to the press release, Seaton also gave Patterson permission to perform any procedure that was necessary.

"Mr. Seaton signed a patient consent form, recognizing that "unforeseen conditions may necessitate additional or different procedures'," the press release said.

Kevin George, Seaton's attorney, said his client should have been consulted before the amputation was performed. He could have sought a second option and consulted with his wife, George said.

"He would have liked to have some input as to what treatment would be given to him, especially when removing his penis," George told The State Journal Wednesday.

George said his client is very angry but is "probably holding up better than most people would." The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

The consent his client gave prior to operation would allow Patterson to perform additional surgery if something went wrong or there was an emergency, George said.

"It's not true for example, if he's doing a procedure and notices a problem with Mr. Seaton's elbow," George said. "Surely they are not contending consent to a circumcision would allow him to operate on his elbow."

More than 50 local physicians also signed a letter to The State Journal supporting Patterson and criticizing a report the newspaper published last week.

"Dr. Patterson is a respected physician and member of the community and this article unfairly smeared his reputation by only presenting one side of the issue," according to the letter.

Patterson is a board-certified urologist with more than 20 years of experience, the press release said. A public relations firm in Nashville issued it.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.