UK surgeon pleads guilty of branding patients’ livers with his initials

UK surgeon pleads guilty of branding patients' livers with his initials
Doctors

A British surgeon has pleaded guilty to marking his initials on the livers of two patients with a laser beam during transplant operations.

The renowned liver, spleen and pancreas surgeon, Simon Bramhall, 53, committed the offences at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in February and August 2013. He was suspended later that year.

The surgeon, who admitted two counts of assault by beating relating to incidents on 9 February and 21 August 201, denied the more serious charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm – a plea which was accepted by prosecutors.

Bramhall used an argon beam coagulator, which seals bleeding blood vessels with an electric beam, to mark his initials on the livers of the two patients.

It is believed that the marks normally disappear. But in one case, it appears the organ was already damaged and as a result did not heal itself in the normal manner, allowing the marks to be seen, the BBC reported.

“The brandings were ‘an intentional application of unlawful force to a patient whilst anesthetised’, adding it had been a highly unusual and complex case, both within the expert medical testimony served by both sides and in law,” says Prosecutor Tony Badenoch.

It is said that the 53-year-old surgeon resigned from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in 2014 after another doctor’s discovery of what he’d done resulted in disciplinary proceedings.

Bramhall, who is free on bail, is due to be sentenced January 12 at Birmingham Crown Court in central England.

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