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Surgeon Permanently Barred From Practicing Medicine After Branding His Initials On Patients' Livers

Surgeon Permanently Barred From Practicing Medicine After Branding His Initials On Patients' Livers
@5 News/YouTube

A British surgeon, who branded his initials on the livers of two patients, lost his ability to practice medicine in the United Kingdom.

In 2017, Simon Bramhall, a liver, spleen and pancreas surgeon, pleaded guilty to inscribing his initials on two patients he performed liver transplants on in February and August of 2013 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service reported he used an argon beam machine to leave his monogram on the two patients' new livers.

Those imprinted initials were found by another doctor roughly one week after one of the transplant surgeries whenthe liver failed.

Bramhall was subsequently suspended from his post at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, before eventually resigning in 2014 during the ongoing investigation.

Bramhall was charged with 12 months of community service, as well as a £10,000 ($13,666.35) fine for two counts of assault and beating.

In December of 2020, the Medical Practitioner's Tribunal Service suspended him from medical practice for five months, but following a review hearing on June 4, 2021, the suspension order was revoked.

The tribunal at the time declared they were "satisfied there is no discernible risk of repetition."

A high court judge, however, rejected the second ruling sending Bramhall's case back to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, and effectively ending the surgeon's days in the operating room.

The tribunal stated a suspension was "insufficient to protect the wider public interest" and the only "appropriate and proportionate sanction" was to remove Bramhall's name from the medical registry.

"The physical assault of two vulnerable patients whilst unconscious in a clinical setting, one of whom experienced significant and enduring emotional harm, seriously undermines patients’ and the public’s trust and confidence in the medical profession and inevitably brings the profession as a whole into disrepute."

Bramhall tried to justify his actions to police at the time of the investigation by saying he branded the two livers as a way of lightening the mood in the operating room following a long and stressful surgery, something which the tribunal found an unacceptable excuse.

"The tribunal rejected the submission made on behalf of Mr Bramhall, that it was to relieve tension. It was an act borne out of a degree of professional arrogance."

Bramhall's story quickly went viral on Twitter, with several expressing their complete and utter disbelief a doctor could be so reckless with his patients.

However, not everyone was horrified by Bramhall's actions.

Some Twitter users were outspokenly against revoking his medical license, citing his earlier glowing reputation and the fact he didn't cause any lasting physical harm to the patients, with some even promoting a petition to get him reinstated.

If Bramhall's days in the operating room are over, he appears to be looking for other means to restore his damaged reputation.

Along with writing partner Fionn Murphy, Bramhall has turned his fall from grace into a novel, titled The Letterman.

Self-published by Bramhall and Murphy, the book's description reads:

"All it takes is a split second."
"One moment’s madness - and nothing will ever be the same again."
"A surgeon is found to have inscribed his initials on a donor liver during a life-saving transplant operation, and everything changes, not just for him and for his patient, but for everyone around them."
"The ensuing conflict is played out in the medical world, the global media and eventually, in court, where justice itself is put on trial."
"What price victory? "
"Who wins when everyone loses?"

On his Amazon Marketplace author page, Bramhall describes himself as a "recently retired" surgeon.