The case already occurred in 2013. At that time, 57-year-old doctor Simon Bramhall burned his initials into the livers of two patients during two organ transplants at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. To do this, he used an argon laser, which is normally used to stop bleeding. The engraving was discovered when one of the victims’ organ began to fail and a second surgeon performed another operation. He saw the branded initials “SB” on the liver, which were about four centimeters tall, and photographed them. Bramhall pleaded guilty and was suspended that same year. He resigned a year later.
In 2017, the court classified the doctor’s actions as bodily harm, even if no permanent harm was found for those affected. According to the public prosecutor’s office, one of the victims nevertheless suffered emotional damage: the man believes he was abused. The defense lawyers explained the surgeon’s actions by trying to “relieve tension in the operating room”. Bramhall was then sentenced to a fine of 10,000 pounds (around 12,000 euros) and community service.
In its latest ruling, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service concluded Tuesday that a suspension order “would not be sufficient to protect the broader public interest” and that removal from the register of doctors was an “appropriate and proportionate sanction”. What Bramhall did was an “act of professional arrogance”. In the short time it took to set his initials, he put his own interests above those of his patients.
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