Simon Bramhall: Surgeon who branded patients' livers during operations fined £10000

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Simon Bramhall, 53, used an argon machine to write his initials on the organs of anaesthetised patients in 2013 while working at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Speaking to the press at the time, he said marking his initials on to his patients' livers had been a mistake.

Opening the facts of the case against Bramhall, prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said one of the two victims initialled by the world-renowned surgeon had been left feeling "violated" and suffering ongoing psychological harm.

A nurse who saw the initialling queried what had happened and Bramhall was said to have replied: "I do this".

One of the patients supporting the surgeon told the court how she had been given just three months to live in 2006 when Simon Bramhall told her he would take the decks to operate on her 15cm tumour.

Simon Bramhall, who was supported in court by former patients, said his actions were an attempt to relieve tension during surgery.

"He knew that the action could cause no harm to the patient".

He was also sentenced to a 12-month community order.

Judge Paul Farrer QC said Bramhall had used the argon beam coagulator - created to seal bleeding blood vessels - to carry out an "an abuse of power" and a betrayal of trust.

Bramhall pleaded guilty in December to two counts of assault by beating after pleading not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

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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".

'This was conduct born of professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behaviour.

He claimed it was a "naive and foolhardy" attempt to relieve tension in the operating theatre, a court heard.

"What you did was an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust that these patients had invested in you".

But as the surgeon today walks free from court, a woman who had been operated on by him in August 2013 revealed the "full horror" of being one of his victims.

"It was important to bring this prosecution, both for the victims and also to maintain the confidence of patients who put their complete trust in surgeons", said Frank Ferguson, head of special crime for the Crown Prosecution Service.

Defence barrister Michael Duck QC said: "A number of people who sit in this court are able to sit in this court because of the skill of Mr Bramhall".

The General Medical Council said past year that Bramhall's conduct risked bringing his profession into disrepute and issued a warning to him but did not think it warranted further punishment.

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