Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

'Arrogant' UK surgeon fined for burning initials onto patients' livers

'Arrogant' UK surgeon fined for burning initials onto patients' livers

The argon beam machine he used to burn his initials is typically used to stop bleeding during surgery, or to mark the area for operation.

But Worcester antiques dealer Jeff Hughes, who had two liver section operations carried out by Dr Bramhall, at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in 2010 and 2011, said the case should have been thrown out.

Speaking on the fine and community order, Mr Hughes said: "He should never have been fined".

One of Bramhall's branded patients, an unnamed woman, wrote a victim impact statement shared during the sentencing hearing, The Mirror reports.

A photograph of the 4cm-high branding was taken on a mobile phone and Bramhall, who now works for the NHS in Herefordshire, later admitted using the argon beam coagulator to mark Patient A's liver.

Bramhall was first suspended from his post as a consultant surgeon at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth hospital in 2013 after another surgeon spotted the initials during follow-up surgery on one of his patients.

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.

The court was told the surgeon's actions were a "naive and foolhardy" attempt to relieve tension in the operating theatre, but had no affect on the medical outcomes. What was Simon Bramhall thinking of?

Bayern down Leverkusen 3-1 as Bundesliga resumes
The Poland star is returning to full training after a knee injury, but Heynckes opted to start Thomas Mueller up front for Bayern. The win for Bayern however highlighted a serious issue for Leverkusen as they seemed to have no plan-b.

An internal investigation into his conduct revealed that another patient got the same treatment, with the surgeon's initials branded on her liver.

Even though the act of branding his initials didn't cause any damage to the organs, prosecutors argued it was done with a disregard to the patients' feelings while they were under general anaesthetic.

After Bramhall's pleas were entered, prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC described the case as "without legal precedent in criminal law" and said the offences were committed in the presence of medical colleagues.

"He knew that the action could cause no harm to the patient", said Mr Badenoch.

Mr Ferguson said Bramhall was a "very respected" surgeon to whom many patients owed their lives.

Judge Paul Farrer QC, presiding over the case, reckoned that both liver transplant operations were hard and long, which likely made the surgeon stressed and exhausted, clouding his judgement.

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

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

Like this: