February 24, 2024

British surgeon censured for branding patients’ livers

“An abuse of power and a betrayal of trust,” says judge

Dr Simon Bramhall   

A British surgeon who branded the livers of two of his patients with his own initials has been fined £10,000 and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service. Dr Simon Bramhall, a liver, spleen and pancreas surgeon, admitted the two incidents, which occurred in 2013. His registration has not been suspended. He now works for the National Health Service in Herefordshire. 

Although he seared his initials into the surface of the liver, no physical harm was suffered by the patients. In sentencing the surgeon, the judge said:

“Both of the operations were long and difficult. I accept that on both occasions you were tired and stressed and I accept that this may have affected your judgment. This was conduct born of professional arrogance of such magnitude that it strayed into criminal behaviour.

“What you did was an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust that these patients had invested in you. I accept that you didn’t intend or foresee anything but the most trivial of harm would be caused.”

Creative commons
informed consent