A surgeon has been burning his initials into patients’ livers for years and only thought to speak up about it now


Some people take pride in their work to the extreme.

In a strange case that’s turning heads in the medical community, a prominent British surgeon admitted to burning his initials into patients’ livers.

Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. (Photo: Screen Capture).

Simon Bramhall, 53, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating at Birmingham Crown Court, BBC reported. He denied the more severe charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and his plea was accepted by prosecutors.

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch called the case “without legal precedent in criminal law,” and Bramhall himself said he made “a mistake.”

Bramhall gained public attention in 2010, when he transplanted a liver saved from a burning aircraft.

He reportedly inscribed his initials onto the patients’ livers with an argon beam. The instrument is typically used to stop bleeding, but surgeons also use its capacity for burning to sketch out the operating area.

Simon Bramhall. (Photo: Facebook).

Badenoch asserted the branding required “some skill and concentration” and asserted “it was done in the presence of colleagues.”

The marks are not believed to be harmful, and they normally disappear. Another surgeon found Bramhall’s initials because the patient’s liver was already damaged, and thus did not heal itself correctly.

The discovery led Queen Elizabeth Hospital to suspend Bramhall in 2014. He later resigned after a disciplinary hearing.

Badendoch accused Bramhall of acting “with a disregard for the feelings of unconscious patients.” He also said it was a “highly unusual and complex case, both within the expert medical testimony served by both sides and in law.”

Bramhall is now out on bail. He’s expected to receive his sentence in Birmingham Crown Court on January 12.


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