'Arrogant' surgeon who branded initials on livers avoids jail

Surgeon who burned initials into livers of two patients fined £10000

Bramhall was a consultant surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham back in 2013, when a fellow surgeon performed a follow-up surgery on a patient and found the initials "SB" branded onto the patient's liver.

He previously pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating relating to two incidents on February 9 and August 21 in 2013, and denied the more serious charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He used an argon beam machine, an instrument created to seal bleeding blood vessels, to sear his initials "SB" into their livers.

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch argued one of the patients suffered ongoing psychological harm from the act and continued to feel violated, the BBC reported.

Addressing the earlier court hearing, Mr Badenoch said: "This has been a highly unusual and complex case, both within the expert medical testimony served by both sides and in law".

He said: "This was conduct born of professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behaviour".

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But the donor liver failed around a week later - for reasons unconnected to its implantation - and another surgeon spotted Bramhall's initials on the organ.

"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.

Farrer fined Bramhall £10,000 ($13,650, €11,250) and sentenced him to 12 months of unpaid community work.

"It was what I would imagine the feeling is for someone who is a victim of rape", she said.

"I was meant to be undergoing a life saving operation".

Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of Simon Bramhall.

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A photograph of the organ showing the 4cm high letters, taken on a mobile phone, was used as evidence in the case.

"My lack of trust in the doctors made me question what could have gone wrong with my new liver I will forever believe in my mind that his branding caused or contributed to the failure of the transplanted liver".

Defence barrister Michael Duck QC said: "A number of people who sit in this court are able to sit in this court because of the skill of Mr Bramhall".

Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital issued a statement yesterday saying: "The Trust is clear that Mr Bramhall made a mistake and this has been dealt with via the appropriate authorities, including the Trust as his then employer".

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

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