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A Surgeon Imprinted His Initials On The Livers Of Patients

Dr. Simon Bramhall is a well-known transplant surgeon who got himself into trouble for breaching the law, although he appealed as being guilty of the two counts of assault.

This surgeon came into limelight in 2010 when he triumphantly performed an unusual surgery of liver transplant obtained from a plane crash victim. He bowed out of his work in 2014 when a disciplinary committee was set up in his case.

The U.K. base surgeon committed these heinous crimes as far back as 2013 when he imprinted the letters of his name into the livers of two people he operated upon that year. The two occurrences were recorded respectively on the 9th of February and 21st August of the same year. He performed the transplants on both victims at  Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where he worked as a surgeon and medical expert.

On Wednesday, as reported by several popular newspapers and tabloids, Dr. Simon Bramhall was in court at Birmingham. He pleaded guilty and went on to confess that he was responsible for the two different incursions by bashing. However, he didn’t admit on the main grievous charge, which is the accusation of assault that brought about infliction of physical wounds. The hospital has since relieved him of his official duties. The 53-year-old surgeon told newsmen in 2013 that his action was a grave error.

More reports from the newspapers revealed that he was granted bail, but it has been decided by the jury that he should be sentenced on the 12th of January next year.

Dr. Bramhall

Tony Badenoch, the prosecutor for the case, was on Wednesday over-heard in court saying that the matter was very complicated and uncommon, judging it from the angles presented by the legal jurisdiction and the medical confirmation.

According to Tony, all evidence is precise, based on all testimonies that were gathered since the beginning of the case. The criterion of the litigatory law is clearly written down.

Tony went to say that the accused, Bramhall, has now tabled his plight of guilt which signified that he knew the gravity of his crimes, beyond the moral grounds of wrong-doing. The plights showed the act of impressing his initials on the victims’ livers as deliberate, especially since it happened twice at different times, says Tony. “He did it with expertise and focus,” he argued. As a matter of fact, some of his co-surgeons were also present at the scenes. The surgeon was selfish and did not put the interests of the patients into consideration.

Corroborating her colleague’s point of view, Elizabeth Reid who is also a prosecutor believed that Bramhall broke the loyalty ties between himself and his patients. She said that the act was just like a compelled intention when the victims were unconscious. It was indeed a breach of consent.

Bramhall was exposed in October 2013 by one surgeon who needed to do another operation on one of the victims. That was when he saw the imprinted letters “SB” on the patient’s liver. Apparently, an argon beam coagulator had been used to do the inscription.

An argon beam coagulator is an electric tool mostly used for enclosure of blood vessels and to mark the areas of the body being operated upon. Marks and prints made by this tool are usually painless and delible because they usually wash away as time goes on.

When interviewed by journalists, he insisted that he left his job on his own accord and contrary to the rumors making rounds, he wasn’t fired. He said the heat was too much for him, so he had to leave.

The medical commission vested with the responsibility of registering medical doctors in the country, i.e., the General Medical Council in the U.K had waged into the crisis by qualifying Bramhall’s actions as an embarrassment to the medical profession. He was warned in February by the commission to desist from the future act of that nature.

The commission is also investigating the matter.

Interestingly, while the media and the medical authorities are fretting about Bramhall’s deeds, one of his patients who also received the ‘SB’ letters on her liver has come out to stand by him. Tracy Scriven argued that it didn’t matter to her what he did, as long as he saved her life. She felt he was being treated unfairly by being suspended from his work. The law should be lenient on the professional who always does his work perfectly well, she concluded.

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