Surgeon burns initials into patients' organs

Simon Bramhall a specialist surgeon leaves Birmingham Crown Court

Simon Bramhall a specialist surgeon leaves Birmingham Crown Court

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.

He pled not guilty to more severe charges of assault causing bodily harm, and prosecutors accepted it.

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

Bramhal is due to be sentenced by Judge Paul Farrer QC on Friday morning.

Birmingham Crown Court heard how one of the victims was left feeling "violated" and still suffers extreme psychological harm.

"This case is about his practice on two occasions, without the consent of the patient and for no clinical reason whatever, to burn his initials on to the surface of a newly transplanted liver", said Badenoch.

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

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

Bramhall arrived at court for sentencing today (12 January) and was also handed a 12-month community order.

Defense attorneys argued Bramhall's acts were a "naïve and foolhardy" attempt on his part to relieve the tension of multiple operations, the BBC reported.

Medical experts have said that the "burning" of organs would not have caused damage to their health or affected clinicial outcomes for patients.

"It was important to bring this prosecution, both for the victims and also to maintain the confidence of patients who put their complete trust in surgeons", said Frank Ferguson, head of special crime for the Crown Prosecution Service.

A nurse who saw the initialling queried what had happened and Bramhall was said to have replied: "I do this".

"There was medical evidence about that that it may have lasted up to a couple of months in the way that a minor burn might do on external skin".

Asked about the doctor's motive after the court hearing, Mr Ferguson said: "Clearly he did not anticipate that it would be seen". There is no greater trust than the trust which a patient places in a surgeon when they are having an operation. Why did he think that it was appropriate to do this to me?

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

Former patients of Bramhall offered their support for the surgeon.

Latest News