Surgeon who branded his initials on patients' organs fined thousands

Surgeon who branded his initials onto patients' livers fined £10,000

Consultant Simon Bramhall arriving at court today

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 consultant, who was given a formal warning by the General Medical Council (GMC) last February, admitted two counts of assault by beating last month after prosecutors accepted his not guilty pleas to charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

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.

Bramhall, 53, used an argon beam coagulator, which seals bleeding blood vessels with an electric beam, to mark his initials on the organs.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she had at first thought the report was "too farcical" to have happened, before realising she had been one of Bramhall's patients. He said the surgeon displayed "professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behavior".

The charges were brought more than three years after Bramhall was suspended by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

"What you did was an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust that these patients had invested in you".

He even boasted to a nurse who witnessed one of the assaults at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital: "This is what I do".

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An internal investigation into his conduct revealed that another patient got the same treatment, with the surgeon's initials branded on her liver. A picture of the 4cm-high scrawl was taken on a mobile phone.

In a victim's impact statement, she said: "These obscene actions seemed nearly too farcical to have actually happened". Why did he think that it was appropriate to do this to me?

Bramhall told police he had "flicked his wrist for just a few seconds" to leave his signature on the patient.

Birmingham Crown Court earlier heard that the surgeon's actions were a "naive and foolhardy" attempt to relieve tension after two hard transplant operations.

"He knew that the action could cause no harm to the patient".

Former patients of Bramhall offered their support for the surgeon.

The General Medical Council said a year ago that Bramhall's conduct risked bringing his profession into disrepute and issued a warning to him but did not think it warranted further punishment.

Patient A said she was shocked to discover Bramhall had branded his initials on her during a life-saving operation.

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