Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

'Arrogant' surgeon who branded initials on livers avoids jail

'Arrogant' surgeon who branded initials on livers avoids jail

A DISGRACED surgeon who "betrayed the trust" of his patients by burning his initials on to the livers of two unconscious transplant patients has been spared jailed.

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

Simon Bramhall, 53, used an argon machine to write his initials on the organs of anaesthetised patients 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.

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

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

In a victim's impact statement, she said: "These obscene actions seemed nearly too farcical to have actually happened".

"I accept that on both occasions you were exhausted and stressed and I accept that this may have affected your judgement".

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One woman, known as Patient A, described how she felt like a "victim of rape" after another surgeon discovered the initials. What was Simon Bramhall thinking of?

A surgeon burnt his initials on a patient's liver after conducting a hard transplant in a "naive and foolhardy" attempt to relieve tension in the operating theatre, a court heard. "Why did he think that it was appropriate to do this to me?"

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.

"Because of my ordeal, my trust in doctors has been destroyed".

One of the patients supporting the surgeon told the court how she had been given just three months to live in 2006 when Simon Bramhall told her he would take the decks to operate on her 15cm tumour.

He said: "As far as we know it's a unique case in terms of the facts and demonstrates really the vulnerability of patients and the degree of trust they place in their surgeons when they are having an operation and the importance that that trust is protected and respected by doctors".

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.

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