Surgeon burns initials into patients' organs during operation

Carving your initial on a tree? No problem. But not on people's livers

British surgeon Simon Bramhall has pled guilty of burning his initials into at least two of his patients' livers.

A spokesman for the trust said the incident happened prior to his employment and he does not carry out liver procedures for them. We expect the highest standard of conduct from our consultants and have systems and processes to monitor this.

On Thursday, according to British news reports, Bramhall was released on unconditional bail, with a sentencing hearing scheduled for January.

Simon Bramhall, a 53-year-old surgeon who worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, United Kingdom, signed his initials "SB" on the livers of patients during surgeries conducted on February 9 and August 21, 2013.

The 53-year-old - who was a noted liver, spleen, and pancreas transplant surgeon - reportedly carried out the etchings in front of other doctors and was forced to resign from his position at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2014.

Bramhall used an argon beam, an instrument usually used to stop bleeding during operations, to sign his initials on his patient's livers.

While the initials aren't thought to be harmful to each patient's liver and would eventually disappear, one of Bramhall's victims did not heal properly, leaving the scar visible. Prosecutor Tony Badenoch described the case as "complex" and "unusual" since it requires medical testimony.

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While it doesn't appear that Bramhall's patients suffered long-term physical consequences due to his actions, others in the chronic illness community told The Mighty how actions like this violate patients' trust and wellbeing. The surgeon engraved the two livers in the presence of his colleagues.

"It was an intentional application of unlawful force to a patient whilst anesthetized", he said. "His acts in marking the livers of those patients were deliberate and conscious acts", he said in court, according to The Guardian.

'Suffice to say, for current purposes, these pleas meet the broad public interest.

The offence of assault by beating was brought against Bramhall to reflect the act of marking the liver and there is no suggestion that he was responsible for physically "beating" either patient. At the tie, he told reporters that was he had done was a mistake.

When asked for comment, Queen Elizabeth Hospital told The Mighty it will not comment on Bramhall's actions until after sentencing.

He was suspended by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust after the allegations came to light.

While he worked there he was also involved in tutoring and examining medical students and supervising postgraduate students. The hospital suspended Bramhall shortly before Christmas in 2013, and while he was briefly reinstated in April 2014, he chose to voluntarily resign a month later.

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