Percy Applewhite entered the medical center in 2002 to discuss treatment for his advanced prostate cancer. Applewhite met with Dr Steven Riggs, who recommended that the veteran undergo a surgical procedure known as Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy (RRP) in which one's prostate gland is removed through an incision in the abdomen.
During the RRP surgery, Applewhite suffered a laceration to his rectal wall, which he alleges has caused him numerous unnamed medical conditions. He filed suit against the federal government alleging that the US was liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act because the attending physicians failed to obtain his informed consent before performing the surgery.
A district court recently entered a judgement in favor of the federal government, claiming that a waiver signed by Mr Applewhite prior to the surgery did provide adequate warning of the health risks for the procedure, including potential damage to the rectal wall.
Applewhite has announced plans to appeal the case, according to Leagle.com.