UK Surgeon Who Branded Initials on Livers Struck Off

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

A liver surgeon in the UK who branded his initials on the livers of two patients has been struck off the medical register.

The incidents, which occurred in 2013, involved the surgeon using an argon beam machine to write his initials “SB” on the livers of two anaesthetised patients while working at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. In liver transplants, the argon beams are normally used for cauterisation and to highlight areas to work on.

His actions came to light when 4cm initials were discovered by another surgeonon an organ that had been transplanted by Bramhall and failed about a week after the operation. Pictures of the branding were taken with a mobile phone.

Bramhall tendered his resignation at the Birmingham hospital in 2014.

In a review of the case, the UK’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) said it was an “act borne out of a degree of professional arrogance”, adding that his actions “undermined” public trust in the medical profession.

In December 2017, Simon Bramhall, admitted two counts of assault by beating at Birmingham Crown Court and was fined £10 000 (R210 000). In December 2020 , he was suspended from the profession for at least five months, but a report from the latest tribunal on Monday said a review hearing on 4 June found his fitness to practise was no longer impaired by reason of his criminal convictions and his suspension lifted.

After an appeal from the General Medical Council (GMC), the sanction was quashed and then the case resubmitted to MPTS for its consideration.

On Monday, MPTS found Bramhall’s actions “breached” the trust between patient and doctor, and he was struck off.

The MPTS tribunal concluded that a suspension order would be “insufficient to protect the wider public interest” and said erasure from the medical register would be an “appropriate and proportionate sanction”.

Source: The Guardian

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