A doctor in Geneva is on trial accused of causing serious bodily harm through negligence after he severed a four-year-old boy's penis during a circumcision operation.
The case dates back to July 2014 when the boy was taken by his parents to the doctor's surgery to be circumcised, reported the Swiss media on Tuesday.
For many families of certain faiths a circumcision is considered a ritual to be celebrated, and that was the case with this family, the doctor told the court, adding that the boy's father was taking photos during the operation.
At the crucial moment the boy's father raised his hand to take a photo and his son turned towards him, moving his pelvis and causing the surgeon to severe the penis which fell to the floor, reported Le Matin
The doctor then tried to reattach the penis but, according to the prosecution, did not have the necessary equipment, notably a catheter of the correct size.
Instead of taking the boy straight to hospital, Prosecutor Judith Lévy Owczarczak said the family were told to remain in the waiting room until the boy was finally taken to Geneva university hospital (HUG) around midnight, some four hours later.
The family's lawyer alleged the doctor wanted to cover up what he'd done and spent hours “running around Geneva trying to find a catheter” rather than taking the boy straight to hospital, reported La Tribune de Genève
Owczarczak also claimed the doctor had not taken enough precautions to ensure his young patient did not move during the circumcision, added the Tribune.
In defence, lawyer Charles Joye said his client told the father to take his son to HUG immediately.
Joye said the doctor was not at fault and could not be held responsible for the “unforeseeable act” – meaning the taking of photos – that caused the accident, reported La Tribune.
After several operations the boy is now on the mend, a HUG surgeon told the court, though he will have to wait until he is 18 to know if any further procedures on his reattached penis are necessary.
The court will give its verdict at a later date.