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

UK doctor admits branding initials into patients' livers

Simon Bramhall: Surgeon who branded patients' livers during operations fined £10000

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Bramhall marked his initials on the patients' livers without their consent "for no clinical reason" using a medical instrument created to seal bleeding blood vessels.

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.

Patient A said she was shocked to discover Bramhall had branded his initials on her during a life-saving operation.

The British surgeon who burned his initials on two patients' livers got away with a £10,000 ($13,600) fine.

Bramhall admitted two counts of assault by beating at Birmingham Crown Court in December after denying the more serious charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

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. A prosecutor criticized the surgeon, saying his actions were "without legal precedent in criminal law". It leaves surgeons facing further scrutiny legally - not just over medical mistakes for which they might be sued - but over what some might have regarded in the past as harmless medical pranks.

He told Bramhall: "Both of the operations were long and hard".

"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.

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Bramhall will now face the General Medical Council to find out whether he will be permanently prevented from practicing medicine or will be allowed to resume at some point.

Sentencing Judge Paul Farrer QC said the assaults had been born out of 'professional arrogance'.

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

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

"I accept that you didn't intend or foresee anything but the most trivial of harm would be caused".

Michael Duck QC, defending, said: 'He (Bramhall) accepts that it was a stupid action, and a moment of stupidity for which he is profoundly sorry'.

Speaking after Bramhall's suspension, Patient Concern's Joyce Robins said: "This is a patient we are talking about, not an autograph book". "There was no impact whatsoever on the quality of his clinical outcomes".

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