A British surgeon who burned his initials into patients’ livers during transplant operations has been fined 10,000 pounds ($17,350) and ordered to perform community service.
Simon Bramhall pleaded guilty last month to two counts of assault, in a case a prosecutor called “without legal precedent in criminal law”.
Bramhall used an argon beam coagulator, which seals bleeding blood vessels with an electric beam, to mark his initials on the organs.
The 53-year-old surgeon was first suspended from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in 2013 after one of his colleagues spotted the initials on an organ during follow-up surgery.
Bramhall then resigned in 2014 after disciplinary proceedings.
Speaking after Bramhall’s suspension, Patient Concern’s Joyce Robins said: “This is a patient we are talking about, not an autograph book.”
The hospital says there was “no impact whatsoever” on the success of the operations.
The marks left by argon are not thought to be harmful to organs and normally disappear.
Passing sentence yesterday at Birmingham Crown Court in central England, judge Paul Farrer said Bramhall displayed “professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behaviour”.