Doctor amputated cancerous organ without asking, patient claims

In 2007, a male patient elected to have a circumcision performed because he had been experiencing inflammation in his penis. But during the operation, the man’s urologist detected cancer in the patient’s penis and amputated the organ.

Chicago doctors must make quick decisions when faced with medical emergencies. Sometimes this means doctors must administer medications or perform surgeries without consulting patients and their families.

Doctors typically keep the best interests of their patients in mind when providing medical treatment, but sometimes the decisions doctors make may be questionable, especially when a decision ends up harming a patient. When this happens, families and patients may consider consulting an attorney in order to determine whether they have a valid medical malpractice claim.

After the patient had his penis surgically removed during what was only supposed to be a circumcision, the patient sued his doctor and the hospital where the surgery had been performed. The patient argued that his doctor should have asked for his permission to remove his penis before proceeding with the amputation. Instead, the doctor performed the operation without allowing his patient to consider having the surgery or not, or to consider other possible treatment options.

The hospital reached a settlement with the patient, but the patient’s doctor claimed that he did not commit medical malpractice by amputating the patient’s penis. The doctor argued that the cancer would have eventually resulted in death. Therefore, removing the man’s penis was necessary at the time.

A jury later concluded that the patient’s doctor did not commit malpractice because the patient had signed a consent form before the circumcision, which gave the doctor the authority to do what was necessary in the event of a complication or other issue during the circumcision. The patient argued that he never agreed to have an amputation performed, though.

The patient appealed the jury’s decision. However, an Appeals Court recently agreed that the doctor did not commit malpractice. The Appeals Court agreed that the doctor did what was necessary to properly treat his patient at the time.

Source: Associated Press, “Court backs doctor in penis amputation case,” Brett Barrouquere, Dec. 21, 2012

  • Our firm represents patients who have suffered serious injuries as a result of medical malpractice. To learn more about protecting medical malpractice victims’ rights, please visit ourChicago surgical errors attorneys page.

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