'Liver branding' surgeon Simon Bramhall fined £10,000

From BBC - January 12, 2018

A liver surgeon who branded his initials on the livers of two patients has been fined 10,000.

Simon Bramhall, 53, used an argon beam machine to write his initials on the organs of the anaesthetised patients in 2013 while working at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Bramhall, of Tarrington, Herefordshire, admitted two counts of assault by beating at Birmingham Crown Court.

He was also sentenced to a 12-month community order.


One of the victims, referred to in court as Patient A, received a donor organ in a life-saving operation carried out by Bramhall.

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

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 marking Patient A's liver.

Bramhall, 53, resigned from his job at the hospital in 2014.

The consultant pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating in December after prosecutors accepted his not guilty pleas to charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The offence of assault by beating was brought against Bramhall to reflect the act of marking the liver and there is no suggestion he was responsible for physically "beating" either patient.

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said one of the two victims was left feeling "violated" and suffered ongoing psychological harm.

The court heard the surgeon's actions were a "naive and foolhardy" attempt to relieve tension in the operating theatre during transplant operations in February and August 2013.

Analysis from Sima Kotecha, BBC Midlands Correspondent

Simon Bramhall was a respected surgeon known for his meticulous work in the operating theatre.

But marking his initials on the livers of his patients meant he abused his position and betrayed the trust of those who were at their most vulnerable.

'Professional arrogance'


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