British surgeon caught burning initials into patients' livers

  • 14/12/2017
British surgeon caught burning initials into patients' livers
Photo credit: Getty

A British surgeon has been charged with assault after his initials were found marked into patients he had operated on.

The BBC reports Simon Bramhall, 53, pleaded guilty to assault by beating after being caught marking his initials into patients' livers during transplant operations.

The offences were committed at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital in February and August 2013.

He was suspended later that year.

Bramhall used an argon beam, commonly used to stop livers bleeding in operations, to mark out "SB" on two different patients.

Its likely Bramhall believed his initials would disappear as the patient healed due to the fact the argon beam doesn't damage the liver and its marks do disappear eventually.

But his crimes came to light when one patient experienced difficulties and was operated on again. The surgeon performing the second surgery was easily able to spot the initials.

Tony Badenoch QC said the case was "without legal precedent in criminal law".

He called the case "highly unusual and complex... both within the expert medical testimony served by both sides and in law".

Bramhall resigned from the University Hospitals Foundation Trust in May 2014 after a disciplinary hearing.

He admitted to the BBC that the incident was a mistake.