Surgeon admits burning initials on patients’ livers

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Dec 14, 2017
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The surgeon wrote his initials without patients' consent and for no clinical reason

Ben Gurr/The Times

A surgeon has pleaded guilty to assault by beating after burning his initials into the livers of two patients undergoing transplants, a court was told yesterday.

Birmingham crown court was told how Simon Bramhall wrote his initials on the patients’ livers without their consent and for no clinical reason.

The incidents occurred in 2013 while Bramhall was working as a liver transplant surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

Bramhall used an argon beam coagulator, which seals bleeding blood vessels by directing a beam of electricity on to the area, to burn his initials on to the patients’ livers.

“Simon Bramhall was a respected surgeon who assaulted two of his patients while they were undergoing surgery,” Elizabeth Reid of the Crown Prosecution Service said.

“It was an intentional application of unlawful force to a patient whilst anaesthetised. His acts in marking the livers of those patients, in a wholly unnecessary way, were deliberate and conscious acts on his part.”

Reid described the assaults as “wrong not just ethically, but also criminally. It was an abuse of the trust placed in him by the patients”.

Bramhall will be sentenced on January 12.

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