'Arrogant' UK surgeon burned initials onto patients' livers

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Simon Bramhall, the British surgeon who branded his initials onto patients' livers during transplant surgeries at least twice, has been ordered to do 120 hours of community service and pay £10,000 (more than $13,000).

He previously pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating relating to two incidents on February 9 and August 21 in 2013, and denied the more serious charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

A judge at the city's crown court said Bramhall, who resigned from the hospital in 2014, had "abused his power".

In a victim's impact statement, she said: "These obscene actions seemed nearly too farcical to have actually happened.

He also said that in hindsight this was naive and foolhardy - a misjudged attempt to relieve the tension in theatre", said prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC.

Birmingham Crown Court heard how one of the victims was left feeling "violated" and still suffers extreme psychological harm.

Even though the act of branding his initials didn't cause any damage to the organs, prosecutors argued it was done with a disregard to the patients' feelings while they were under general anaesthetic.

He said: "I accept that on both occasions you were exhausted and stressed and I accept that this may have affected your judgement.This was conduct born of professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behaviour".

The judge said: "This was conduct born of professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behaviour".

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Sky's Tom Parmenter, in court for the sentencing, said a "significant number of other former patients of Simon Bramhall were in court to show their support and gratitude".

"It was Mr Bramhall who gave me my first instincts of hope", Barbara Moss explained.

"I was meant to be undergoing a life-saving operation".

Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of Simon Bramhall.

She said her trust in doctors had been destroyed, adding: "My lack of trust in the doctors made me question what could have gone wrong with my new liver".

Bramhall's initials were discovered on the liver of a transplant patient by a different surgeon who carried out a later operation.

"I will forever believe in my mind that his branding caused or contributed to the failure of the transplanted liver".

A nurse who witnessed the surgeon's actions said she had asked him what he was doing; he is said to have replied: "I do this".

The Queen Elizabeth hospital said in a statement: "The trust is clear that Mr Bramhall made a mistake in the context of a complex clinical situation and this has been dealt with via the appropriate authorities, including the Trust as his then employer".

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