British Transplant Surgeon Who Branded His Initials into Patients' Organs Loses Medical License

·2 min read
Simon Bramhall
Simon Bramhall

PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo Simon Bramhall

A British transplant surgeon who had admitted to branding his initials on the livers of two patients during surgery has lost his medical license.

Simon Bramhall, 57, had used an electric beam to burn "SB" into one patient in February 2013, and a second that August, unbeknownst to either of them, the Guardian reported. But when one of the patients needed a follow-up surgery because the organ failed a week later, another surgeon discovered Bramhall's initials.

Bramhall, a liver, spleen and pancreas surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, was suspended after the other surgeon found his initials in 2013 and placed under investigation. He resigned in May 2014 and told the BBC he had made "a mistake."

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The surgeon, who had practiced since 1988, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault in 2017. Reports did not indicate how police determined that he had burned his initials into the second patient, but they opted against investigating if Bramhall had done this to other patients as it does not affect the function of the organ. During the trial, the prosecutor said that one of the patients had felt "violated" by his actions and was dealing with psychological harm.

Simon Bramhall
Simon Bramhall

PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo Simon Bramhall

Bramhall had told police that he decided to brand the patients to relieve pressure during the long operations.

"What you did was an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust that these patients had invested in you," the judge said, according to the BBC.

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In 2018, he was fined 10,000 pounds and ordered to complete 12 months of community service. Bramhall was suspended from practicing medicine for at least five months in Dec. 2020, and on Monday the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) decided to terminate his license.

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In their decision, the MPTS said that Bramhall's actions were "borne out of a degree of professional arrogance" and "undermined" people's trust in the medical system.

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