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Mans penis removed. "You can see there's nothing there"

The 6th headline in the "most read" section of the BBC News website read "Man Sues after Penis Amputation". I found it impossible not to click on it. I'm guessing its the same impulse that has people slowing down at a car crash, staring at someone's glass eye, or feeling the uncontrollable urge to remove sometimes prosthetic leg and pretending to play it like a flute.

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The scrote of the story is basically this. Guy went for circumcision, doctor discovers cancer, doctor removes cancer to save guys life. Sometime later another doctor removes the remainder of guys "heat-seeking moisture missle", and guy sues first doctor claiming he didn't give consent for the nob-ectomy.


The guy really ought to give the first doctor a pat on the back for saving his life. It is people like this that make people scared to do CPR in case they save the persons life and end up being sued. The doctor really ought to have left the ungrateful tosser to his misery. It makes me so angry. If someone does the right thing, for the right reasons, under right circumstances, they should be rewarded not praised. The semantics of paperwork shouldn't become an issue.


Having said that, i can relate to this situation. I popped into hospital in June for a quick check up, and next thing i know i'm waking up from an operation i didn't consent to. I was confused, in a lot of pain, and no amount of explanation really helped me to understand what had been done. I was angry, scared, and felt very vulnerable. Having had almost 60 consented operations i thought i was prepared for anything, but the most basic issue of consent effected me in a way i wasn't expecting. I felt violated, and like i couldn't trust my surgeon any more. In subsequent operations i took to writing the following;

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"I DO NOT CONSENT TO ANYTHING MORE THAN THE AGREED TREATMENT EXCEPT WHERE IT IS IMMEDIATELY NECESSARY IN ORDER TO SAVE MY LIFE. IF FURTHER TREATMENT IS REQUIRED PLEASE WAKE ME UP TO GAIN CONSENT UNLESS DOING SO PUTS MY LIFE AT SIGNIFICANT RISK"


A couple of months down the line i still feel a bit nervous about surgery. More so than i ever did before this incident. In fact, despite the much longer recovery period, my life is now much more manageable as a direct result of this un-consented operation. My surgeon did the right thing, for the right reasons, under the right circumstances. The semantics of paperwork shouldn't mean he finds himself in court for helping me. I owe him my thanks not my criticism. 

Thank you Mr Thomas, Consultant General Surgeon, Leicester General Hospital.