OK, reading the article, it was a “circumcision to treat inflammation”, so there was a known problem before the surgery. It’s very possible that the pre-surgery paperwork included permission to treat anything found needing treatment during the operation. The papers for my colonoscopy included permission to remove or treat anything they found. I wouldn’t have expected to wake up with my colon gone, but it could have happened. Their concern was removing any polyps, but I can picture a sudden upgrade.
Doctors know that anesthesia is hard on the body and try to avoid multiple surgeries if possible. The article doesn’t specify that he was under general anesthesia, but I’m guessing that a regular circumcision would have only needed a local, possibly with a tranquilizer, while an ectomy would need general. Which leaves me guessing that the doctor may have been expecting more than a circumcision from the beginning.
Without more information, and the judge has told the lawyers not to talk to the press, I have no idea what the situation was expected to be going into the operation. There could have been bad communication by the doctor; could have been stonewall denial by the patient; could have been both.
Would sending him into recovery have been such an improvement? The good news is we found the cause of the inflammation. The bad news is that it’s cancer and we’ll have to cut your penis off - but we wanted to be completely sure that you’re ok with that so you have a pain pill and think about it and when you’ve recovered and signed the paper we’ll schedule the rest of it in, oh, about three months. Sorry about the pain. The next recovery will probably be worse.
I suppose the flip side is that it precluded a second opinion. Theoretically, they could have gone for another treatment, or no treatment, instead. And if the doctor downplayed the form signing at all, I could see how the lawsuit happened. But I’m not going to get completely outraged until I know more. I guess the lesson is that when you sign one of those forms, you should write in a codicil if you don’t want your dick cut off without your express permission. Or in the case of the colonoscopy - “removing polyps is ok, for anything more extensive, wake me up.”