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Doctor pleads guilty to assault for burning his initials in patients’ livers during organ transplants

By Mason White 8:19 AM December 15, 2017
Simon Bramhall

A doctor who burned his initials into the livers of patients during organ transplants has been suspended and arrested, according to police in the United Kingdom.

The West Midlands Police said that the surgeon has admitted in court to burning his initials into the livers of patients during organ transplants after they brought landmark assault charges against him.

53-year-old Simon Bramhall pleaded guilty to two counts of assault at the Birmingham Crown Court in a case that set a legal precedent in criminal law.

Charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm were dropped as a result of the plea.

Bramhall performed the liver transplants at Queen Elizabeth hospital and used an argon beam coagulator, which is an instrument designed to seal bleeding blood vessels, to sear his initials “SB” into the organs.

The markings were discovered by another surgeon who performed the second transplant after the initial one failed.

The court heard there was nothing to suggest the failure of the liver was due to the initialling and that the liver would, in time, regenerate and leave no permanent markings.

However, the procedure was deemed highly unethical.

The General Medical Council was informed and it came to light that an anesthetist had witnessed Bramhall perform the same act on a different patient’s liver.

Both patients made a full recovery from their transplants.

Bramhall of Brooklands Lane in Redditch will be sentenced at the Birmingham Crown Court.

Surprisingly, people were quick to defend the expert liver, spleen, and pancreas surgeon.

Jo Rowley said: “To be honest. I think the NHS has lost a very good liver surgeon. Can they really afford this? Okay, it wasn’t the cleverest thing to do but how many lives has he actually saved and now he’s resigned.”

Thomas Watkins sarcastically said: “My heart goes out to his traumatized victims who will forever have to live with unattractive organs. I can’t imagine how much stress that would put on someone.”

Rebecca Stanley-Rickard said: “I wouldn’t care if he saved my life. He could burn a portrait into my liver as long as it still worked and I was alive. It’s not like he harmed the liver to kill the patient.”