'Arrogant' surgeon avoids jail after branding transplant patients with initials during surgery

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"The internal graffiti very likely did not cause any damage, The Guardian reports: 'The marks left by argon are not thought to impair the organ's function and usually disappear by themselves'".

Simon Bramhall, 53, seared his initials on a patient's liver after conducting a hard transplant in a "naive and foolhardy" attempt to relieve tension, a court heard.

Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital said in a statement: "The Trust is clear that Mr Bramhall made a mistake in the context of a complex clinical situation and this has been dealt with via the appropriate authorities, including the Trust as his then employer".

Judge Paul Farrer QC, who said Bramhall would also carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, told the defendant: "Both of the (transplant) operations were long and hard".

"The horror of seeing the photo of my cut open body with the initials SB on the liver will forever live in my mind".

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

Mr Badenoch said: "This case is about his practice on two occasions, without the consent of the patient and for no clinical reason whatever, to burn his initials on to the surface of a newly-transplanted liver". I genuinely believe that the failure of the liver was due to the actions of Simon Bramhall burning his initials on to it.

Bramhall originally told police he had "flicked his wrist" and made the mark within a few seconds, while a nurse who questioned him told Birmingham Crown Court he told her: "I do this".

Bramhall's actions came to light when one of the patients had further surgery a week later.

He pled not guilty to more severe charges of assault causing bodily harm, and prosecutors accepted it.

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Passing sentence, Judge Paul Farrer QC reportedly said: "Both of the (transplant) operations were long and hard".

"I accept that on both occasions you were exhausted and stressed and I accept that this may have affected your judgment", the judge continued.

"And no greater vulnerability than that of a patient who's under general anaesthetic and the breach of that trust and the abuse of that power were aggravating features that led us to conclude it was the right thing to do to take this case forward".

Bramhall worked at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for 12 years before he quit.

"This was conduct born of professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behavior", says Farrer.

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