Penis Amputation Victim Has No One to Blame But Himself
Posted by Sasha Brown-Worsham
The Stir
August 22, 2011

Former truck driver Phillip Seaton of Kentucky is suing the doctor who
amputated his penis after he went in for a circumcision. The doctor,
finding his penis riddled with cancer, decided to take it off because
Seaton, who is illiterate, signed a document saying he could.

The consent form stating that the doctor was allowed to do what was
needed once Seaton was under anesthesia, was apparently part of the
packet of information he initialed when he went into the hospital for the
circumcision and the doctor who did the amputation felt he was saving
his life.

On the stand today, Seaton said when he woke from surgery, the
doctor spoke to him:

He said I got good news and bad news. The bad news is you had
cancer, the good news is I had to cut some of your penis off...I got up
out of bed, went to the restroom and looked to see what he was talking
about, and I pulled the dressing down, and I didn't see nothing. Then I
come out of the restroom and said I'm getting the hell out of this damn

For Seaton, the result has been an altered life in which he feels like
less of a man and cannot be intimate with his wife anymore. And while
my heart breaks for him, it is also his own fault. If he had run into
someone with his truck after running a stop sign, he could not claim his
illiteracy as a defense. So why can he sue the doctor who saved his
life using the same claim?

If you don't understand something, don't sign! It is that simple.
Besides, realistically, what were his options? Had the doctor revived
him, told him the bad news and given him his options, would he have
really refused surgery just because he wanted to keep his penis? He
may very well have died.

It is a horrible story, to be sure. "I didn't have no say in it," he testified.
And all of our hearts go out to him, but the fact is, he probably would
have made that same decision and if he did not want doctors making
those decisions, he should have asked for help with the paperwork.
Unfortunately not being able to read does not excuse a person from
their signature or initialing. And if it did, what then? Doctors would have
no freedom. Anyone going into surgery would be forced to prove they
can read.
Thank Heaven for
Insurance Companies blog
KP On Call

Kaiser department rankings

Cancer score card

Cardiology score card

Urology score card
US Health Insurance
Kaiser Permanente cases

Kaiser Permanente executives

Retaliation by Kaiser

Kaiser arbitration

Kaiser peer review
Missing Medical Records
Warnings deleted from
abnormal test results
Kaiser conflicts of interest
San Diego
Education Report
Kaiser fails to diagnose
Kaiser employees