Circumcision
A four-year-old boy lost his penis in a circumcision gone awrySean Gallup/Getty Images

A surgeon who completely cut off a four-year-old's penis in a botched circumcision has been acquitted of negligence by a court in Geneva.

The unnamed doctor, 59, was on trial almost three years after the fateful day in July 2014 when he severed the boy's phallus entirely from his body during a routine operation.

The court heard that the boy's father had been taking photos of the operation and at one point gestured for his son to turn towards the camera.

Circumcision is a celebrated rite of passage in many cultures and religions.

The boy moved according to his father's instructions and in the process shifted his pelvis just as the surgeon was making an incision.

His penis was cut away from his body and fell onto the floor, according to news site The Local.

The doctor was unable to reattach the penis immediately because he did not have an appropriate catheter. The prosecution alleged that the surgeon wasted time "running around Geneva trying to find a catheter" instead of sending the boy straight to hospital.

This claim was disputed by defence lawyer Charles Joye who said the surgeon told the father to take the son to hospital immediately.

Speaking after the court's decision in favour of his client, Joye said: "The court recognizes that the surgeon is not responsible when an unforeseeable event, such as in this case, causes an imprecise action.

"The event that took place was an unfortunate accident, not caused by the doctor, and his behaviour testifies to his cool head as well as his skill," he added.

A lawyer for the boy's parents reportedly criticised the judgement because it did not take account of the doctor's decision to let the father take photos during the procedure.

After several operations the boy is now on the mend, a 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.

Last month IBTimes UK reported the case of a Canadian man who ran an unlicensed circumcision service from his cabin in the woods.