Twisted NHS surgeon who branded his initials into patients’ organs is struck off

An NHS doctor who used a laser to brand his initials on some patients’ livers has this week been struck off by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service [MPTS].

Former surgeon Simon Bramhall will no longer be allowed to practise medicine over the "act borne out of a degree of "professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behaviour.”

He branded the patients using an argon beam machine while working at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2013.

The bizarre act came to light after another doctor needed to remove a patient’s liver that had been transplanted by Bramhall and failed about a week later.

When questioned, Bramhall said he had done it to relieve tension in the operating theatre following the transplant operations.

A nurse who was in the operating theatre at the time asked Bramhall what he was doing and he simply replied: "I do this."

In a hearing this week, the MPTS said Bramhall’s behaviour actions "undermined" public trust in the medical profession.

Although, the tribunal said, it "accepted that no lasting physical damage was caused to either patient", Bramhall's actions had caused one of them "significant emotional harm”.

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In December 2017, Bramhall pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating – which is the closest description that prosecutors could find to describe the offence.

The liver, spleen and pancreas surgeon was given a 12-month community order and fined £10,000.

The case was described as "unique" and "without legal precedent in criminal law".

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said at the time that one of the two victims had been left feeling "violated" and suffered ongoing psychological harm after learning of the “branding”.

In a victim impact statement, the patient said: "These obscene actions seemed almost too farcical to have actually happened..

"It was what I would imagine the feeling is for someone who is a victim of rape.

"I was meant to be undergoing a life saving operation. What was Simon Bramhall thinking of?"

Bramhall had been a high-flying surgeon, receiving a series of titles and awards over the course of his career.

He was a consultant surgeon and lecturer at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, deputy director of the division of medicine at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

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