Doctor's lawyer says genital amputation was necessary

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By The Staff

The attorney for a doctor being sued for removing a Waddy man's penis said Friday that the amputation was "medically necessary."

Attorney Clay Robinson said in a written statement that though he had advised his client, Dr. John Patterson, not to respond to requests for interviews, the complaint and subsequent comments by Phillip Seaton's attorney merit some response.

Robinson said Patterson amputated Seaton's penis in what was supposed to be a routine circumcision at Jewish Hospital Shelbyville last October because during the course of the surgery Patterson discovered his patient had cancer.

Seaton, 61, and his wife, Debbie, of Waddy, filed suit in Shelby Circuit Court on Sept. 15. The civil suit names Patterson, the anesthesiologist, Dr. Oliver James of Shelbyville, and Commonwealth Urology PSC in Frankfort, as defendants. The hospital is not named.

Seaton and his attorney, Kevin George, told The Sentinel-News, which is owned by the parent company of The Anderson News, on Thursday that Patterson did not have permission to remove Seaton's penis.

But Robinson said the fact that Seaton signed a patient consent form authorized Patterson to "perform any procedures that in his professional judgment were needed."

"This surgery was medically necessary," Robinson said in his statement. "Mr. Seaton had no reasonable option other than to have the cancer removed."

The circumcision procedure was being done to treat inflammation of the affected area.

The Seatons claim in their suit that Phillip Seaton specifically advised Patterson that he did not want him to remove anything but the foreskin on his penis, but that despite those instructions, the doctor amputated the organ without consulting either Seaton or his wife.

Seaton said the action by Patterson robbed him the opportunity to get a second opinion or to discuss possible options and treatments.

Robinson said that before the surgery Seaton was advised that "unforeseen conditions could be discovered that might necessitate other procedures beyond the planned surgery."

The defendants have until Oct. 15 to respond to the suit.