Sur­geon fined for burn­ing ini­tials into pa­tients

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - WORLD NEWS -

LON­DON — A Bri­tish sur­geon who burned his ini­tials into pa­tients’ liv­ers dur­ing trans­plant op­er­a­tions was fined $13,600 on Fri­day, 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 re­signed from Queen El­iz­a­beth Hospi­tal in Birm­ing­ham in 2014 af­ter an­other doc­tor dis­cov­ered what he’d done. The hospi­tal said there had been “no im­pact what­so­ever” on the suc­cess of the op­er­a­tions.

Pass­ing sen­tence at Birm­ing­ham Crown Court in cen­tral Eng­land, judge Paul Far­rer said Bramhall dis­played “pro­fes­sional ar­ro­gance of such mag­ni­tude that it strayed into crim­i­nal be­hav­iour.”

The judge ac­cepted that the pa­tients were not phys­i­cally harmed but said one had suf­fered “ex­treme and en­dur­ing” psy­cho­log­i­cal stress af­ter learn­ing what had hap­pened. “What you did was an abuse of power and a be­trayal of trust that th­ese pa­tients had in­vested in you,” the judge said.

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