Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

A surgeon has admitted to burning his initials onto patients' livers

A surgeon has admitted to burning his initials onto patients' livers A surgeon has admitted to burning his initials onto patients' livers
Judith Alexander | 16 December, 2017, 19:13

A hospital surgeon has admitted branding his initials on to the livers of two transplant patients in the first case of its kind in British criminal history.

After Bramhall's pleas were entered, prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said the Crown accepted the medic's not guilty pleas in a case which was "without legal precedent in criminal law".

The surgeon resigned in 2014 and is awaiting his sentencing on January 12.

Transplant expert Simon Bramhall, 53, had pleaded guilty to assault by beating but not guilty to alternative charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The liver, spleen and pancreas surgeon was working at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital at the time, and used an argon beam to mark his patients. Bramhall transplanted the liver following the fiery crash-landing of the plane that was transporting the donor liver to Birmingham.

Argon is normally used to stop livers bleeding during operations, by sealing blood vessels together using an electric beam. Doctors who are part of the investigation don't think the marks are harmful and expect them to clear up on their own.

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"It was an abuse of the trust placed in him by the patients".

Following his suspension, Bramhall told the BBC that he "made a mistake". "I was not dismissed", he said. This marking of the liver was done "with a disregard for the feelings of unconscious patients".

He added: "It was an intentional application of unlawful force to a patient whilst anaesthetised".

'His acts in marking the livers of those patients were deliberate and conscious acts. "The man saved my life".

Sitting at the back of the court on Wednesday, Bramhall, wearing a pink shirt and dark suit, spoke to confirm his name and to confirm to the judge that he understood the proceedings.

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