Surgeon who branded his initials onto patients' livers fined £10000

Christopher Furlong  Getty Images

Christopher Furlong Getty Images

A British surgeon was fined and ordered to perform community service after admitting that he burnt his initials into the livers of two transplant patients.

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.

Simon Bramhall, 53, used an argon beam machine to write his initials on the organs of patients in operations in 2013 while working at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

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.

Badenoch said of the initial transplant operation: "Mr Bramhall had to work exceptionally hard and use all of his skill to complete the operation".

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Bramhall was sentenced to a 12-month community order, meaning he will carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, and fined £10,000 ($13,650, 11,250 euros).

"What you did was an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust that these patients had invested in you", judge Paul Farrer told him at Birmingham Crown Court.

"It was Mr Bramhall who gave me my first instincts of hope", Barbara Moss explained.

In a victim impact statement, a patient who had her liver initialled by Mr Bramhall said she had suffered an "overwhelming feeling of violation" and believed her organ failed because of his actions. I think it should have been thrown out.

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".

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One of the victims, referred to in court as Patient A, received a donor organ in 2013 in a life-saving operation carried out by Bramhall. A picture of the 4cm-high scrawl was taken on a mobile phone.

A nurse asked what the marks were and Bramhall was said to have replied: "I do this". Speaking to the press at the time, he said marking his initials on to his patients' livers had been a mistake.

Bramhall's actions came to light when one of the patients had further surgery a week later.

Bramhall told police it was a misguided attempt to relieve tension in the operating room.

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