At Issue: U.S. Health Care Policy
A new study uncovers the link between U.S. high health care costs and doctor fees. REUTERS

Phillip Seaton, a former truck driver, had gone into surgery for a circumcision to treat inflammation,but instead had his penis partially removed after a surgeon found that it was riddled with penile cancer, the Associated Press reports.

A lawyer representing the Kentucky man who testified against Dr. John Patterson in the Shelby County Circuit Court, the doctor who amputated Seaton's penis without asking his permission, told jurors on Monday his client doesn't feel like a man.

Seaton and his wife, Deborah, seek unspecified damages from Patterson for loss of service, love and affection. Seaton's attorney, Kevin George, told jurors in Shelbyville, Ky., that the doctor had not expressed any concern that the man might have cancer when he went into surgery.

Seaton told the court that when he awoke from the operation, Patterson told him there was good news and bad news, WLKY reports. Seaton testified the bad news was he had cancer, but the good news was Patterson removed it by cutting an inch off of his penis.

George showed jurors four graphic photographs of Seaton's groin, saying, You can see there's nothing there.

Dr. Patterson’s attorney, Clay Robinson, has also stated that the doctor had only removed the tip of the penis after discovering the cancer and that another doctor had later removed the rest of the organ.

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, George said.

Robinson told jurors his client faced a dreaded dilemma because Seaton's penis was so riddled with deadly penile cancer it had the appearance of rotten cauliflower.

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

In an opening statement on Monday, Mr. Seaton’s lawyer, Kevin George, told jurors that his client no longer felt like a man and that what his doctor opted to do was wrong since Seaton was never given a choice or the opportunity to check around and seek alternative opinions or treatment options.

During his testimony, Seaton described to the court his experience of waking up from surgery and being given the news.

He recalled how in the moments after hearing that a portion of the organ had been removed he wanted to flee the hospital.

In response, Patterson’s attorney explained how his client faced a quote “dreaded dilemma” and had saved Seaton’s life given that his penis had been so riddled with penile cancer.

As indicated by the BBC, according to estimates from the National Institutes of Health, penile cancer is rare with a little over 1300 new cases and 320 deaths in the U.S. in 2011.