Home 5 News and Press 5 Penis Amputation May or May not be Medical Malpractice for an Anesthesiologist

Penis Amputation May or May not be Medical Malpractice for an Anesthesiologist

This starkly brutal case of medical mishap is unusual, in that it may or may not be deemed medical negligence.

This medical malpractice case is so different there are almost no words to describe the outcome. The details of the story are indelicately blunt and to the point, as there is no other way to relate what happened, other than to put the whole story right out there. For a Manchester medical malpractice lawyer, cases such as this do not happen often, but when they do, the client is treated with respect and dignity, with the aim being to obtain the maximum compensation the person deserves.

A former Florida resident, since deported back to his country of origin, will testify via Skype for the jury to hear his story. The man lived and worked in the state for over 40 years, held down a job in the medical supply business and paid all his taxes as required. He worked hard, loved well, and paid his dues.

He chose to have elective surgery when he was 60-years-old, to deal with erectile dysfunction. This meant implanting a plastic straw in his penis to allow him to have intimate relations with his wife. His health had prevented him from doing so for a number of years. The man didn’t want a bigger penis. He just wanted to restore his ability to have an erection.

The surgery was a success, but the patient developed a small infection. It morphed into gangrene and he required a life-saving amputation; the amputation of his penis. He now pees through a tube and relations with his wife are out of the question. He filed a medical malpractice lawsuit, which stated the anesthesiologist ought to have known the man was not in top form for the original surgery. With high blood pressure and diabetes, he would have a long road to recovery, even with a relatively simple operation like placing a plastic straw.

The lawsuit named the anesthesiologist and the penile implant specialist. The specialist settled out of court. The anesthesiologist suggested this was a frivolous lawsuit and just a case of bad luck. The plaintiff’s point of view is markedly different when it comes to the definition of what constitutes ‘frivolous.’ His whole life has been turned upside down, and he will never be able to have sexual relations again or stand to urinate.

Will this plaintiff win his case? The chances are good, as the surgeon already settled out of court, which is a fair indication that the man’s lawyer thought the plaintiff had a good case to prove. However, it may make sense for the surgeon to be sued and to settle, but make less sense to a jury that an anesthesiologist is named for the loss of the man’s penis.

The anesthesiologist was not operating, did not place the straw, did not have anything to do with the subsequent infection, nor the final amputation. And that is the crux of the current case; whether or not the jury will hold that an anesthesiologist can be held liable for the man losing his penis.

Each medical malpractice case is different, and each one is incredibly complex and convoluted. Negligence needs to be present, meaning the doctor’s actions and care was below the accepted standard practiced by others in the same field. While negligence appears to be present here, it is questionable whether or not the anesthesiologist had a part to play in the amputation at a later date.

If you feel you have been a victim of medical malpractice, reach out to an experienced Manchester medical malpractice lawyer. Find out if you have a case and how to go about filing a lawsuit.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit

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