A male gynecologist of New South Wales, Australia has been charged with mutilating the genitals of a woman patient while removing a pre-cancerous lesion.
The doctor, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is standing trial in the Sydney District Court. He has also been accused of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on the woman.
The Court heard that Ms Carolyn De Waegenaire, 58. had a cancer that required a small amount of skin to be removed from her genital area in a simple operation, but he removed a lot more.
He told a nurse it did not matter that he had cut out the patient's clitoris, because her husband was dead.
But the doctor has pleaded not guilty, and today his barrister told the jury his client performed the operation because he was "trying to save her life".
Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen SC has told the jury that Ms De Waegenaire had a consultation with the practitioner in 2002, when he told her that the operation known as a "simple vulvectomy" would be a "relatively minor procedure".
The prosecutor said the woman woke up in enormous pain and will testify that before the operation the doctor put his face close to her and said, "I'm going to take your clitoris too".
Ms Cunneen said the woman will tell the court she saw the doctor in a blue theatre gown and face mask.
She said other medical experts will also testify that the radical surgery was unnecessary.
In defence, the doctor's counsel, John Stratton SC, said the doctor did only what was necessary for the health of the patient.
The lawyer described the cancer as a serious one and said it was "like a timebomb ticking ready to go off."
He said the type of cancer the woman had coulg have proved fatal.
He said other medical staff in the operating theatre will testify they did not hear the doctor tell the woman he would cut out her clitoris.
He also noted that the woman's complaint was made years after the operation.
The trial continues.