'Arrogant' surgeon burned his initials onto patients' livers during transplants

Kenny Tucker
January 13, 2018

Simon Bramhall, a British surgeon who branded his initials in the livers of two patients under anesthesia in 2013, has been fined 10,000 pounds ($13,700) and ordered to do 120 hours of community service for his actions.

The surgeon used an argon beam machine to burn his initials into the patient's liver, according to the BBC.

Bramhall, who is world-renowned in his profession of specializing in liver, spleen and pancreas surgery, later resigned from his job at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2014.

Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court in central England, judge Paul Farrer said Bramhall displayed "professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behavior".

"The Associated Press reports that a prosecutor called the case 'without legal precedent in criminal law'".

Passing sentence, Judge Paul Farrer QC reportedly said: "Both of the (transplant) operations were long and hard".

The eminent doctor described as one of the leading surgeon's in his medical field appeared for sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court on January 12 after he admitted two charges of assault at an earlier court appearance, claiming his actions were created to relieve tension during surgery.

He told Bramhall: "Both of the operations were long and hard".

Simon Bramhall was a respected surgeon known for his meticulous work in the operating theatre.

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The woman, who said she didn't even like the ideas of tattoos on skin, told the court: "The horror of seeing the photo of my cut open body with the initials SB on the liver will forever live in my mind".

But marking his initials on the livers of his patients meant he abused his position and betrayed the trust of those who were at their most vulnerable.

The court heard Bramhall later told police he had "flicked his wrist" and made the mark in a few seconds.

The judge accepted that the patients were not physically harmed but said one had suffered "extreme and enduring" psychological stress after learning what had happened.

"It was what I would imagine the feeling is for someone who is a victim of rape", she said.

"I accept that on both occasions you were exhausted and stressed and I accept that this may have affected your judgment", the judge continued.

"I accept that you didn't intend or foresee anything but the most trivial of harm would be caused".

"Mr. Bramhall made a mistake in the context of a complex clinical situation and this has been dealt with via the appropriate authorities, said a statement released by The Queen Elizabeth Hospital".

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