Carolyn DeWaegeneire is appalled taxpayers are funding the High Court appeal of the doctor known as the Butcher of Bega, who removed her genitals without consent.

Graeme Reeves on Tuesday launched his High Court challenge against an increase to his jail sentence.

He was jailed in 2011 for three-and-a-half years after being found guilty of removing Ms DeWaegeneire's clitoris and genitals and sexually abusing another patient during a physical examination.

He also is serving time for obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

The offences occurred between 2001 and 2003 when Reeves worked as a gynaecologist and obstetrician on the NSW South Coast.

Ms DeWaegeneire said she was angry Reeves was receiving Legal Aid for his defence.

"(Today's been) stressful, of course. I don't want to relive it, but I must," she told reporters outside court.

"There's been extraordinary taxpayers' expense to defend one man against me."

She hopes the High Court does not reduce Reeves sentence just because he's ill.

Along with another victim and several supporters, she wore a T-shirt with a picture of two ants, symbolising their battle as "little people at the bottom of the barrel".

"I can't let that man win, for every woman in this country," she said with tears in her eyes.

The court on Tuesday considered the legal issues surrounding the concept of "informed consent".

It also examined in what circumstances a surgeon performing an operation they believe is medically necessary can be guilty of a crime requiring proof of malice or intent to commit grievous bodily harm.

Reeves removed Ms DeWaegeneire's genitals in an operation that was supposed to only take out a pre-cancer lesion.

Reeves' defence has consistently argued he was saving the patient's life and rejected the crown's argument that he did not have consent to remove her genitals.

Appearing for the crown, Lloyd Babb SC told the court the expert evidence was unanimous that the operation had been unwarranted.

In February 2013, the NSW Court of Appeal found Reeves' sentence to be grossly inadequate and re-sentenced him to five-and-a-half years, with a non-parole period of three-and-a-half years.

However, the court also found the trial judge had made an error in directing the jury on the issue of consent.

Reeves' barrister Peter Hamill argued the original sentencing judge had taken into account his client's depression, but that was not used as a mitigating factor by the appeal judges.

He also argued the Court of Appeal should not have applied a section of the Criminal Appeal Act because the trial judge had made an error.

"The court should grant special leave to rectify the injustice to the individual," Mr Hamill said.

"The jury did not decide the issue it had been called to decide."

The hearing continues.

 

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