'Arrogant' UK surgeon burned initials onto patients' livers

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"Arrogant" surgeon avoids jail after branding transplant patients with initials during surgery A surgeon who burnt his initials into a patient's newly transplanted liver has avoided jail despite the weird "abuse of power" at a United Kingdom hospital.

Crown Prosecution Service Head of Special Crime Frank Ferguson said Bramhall was a very respected surgeon and that many patients owed their lives to him, the Birmingham Mail reported.

"The Associated Press reports that a prosecutor called the case 'without legal precedent in criminal law'".

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Bramhall marked his initials on the patients' livers without their consent "for no clinical reason" using a medical instrument created to seal bleeding blood vessels.

Bramhall was first suspended from his post as a consultant surgeon at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth hospital in 2013 after another surgeon spotted the initials during follow-up surgery on one of his patients.

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

However, the court earlier heard prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC say that one of the two victims was left feeling "violated" and had suffered ongoing psychological harm.

"What you did was an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust that these patients had invested in you".

The eminent doctor described as one of the leading surgeon's in his medical field appeared for sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court on January 12 after he admitted two charges of assault at an earlier court appearance, claiming his actions were created to relieve tension during surgery.

A photograph of the 4cm-high branding was taken on a mobile phone and Bramhall, who now works for the NHS in Herefordshire, later admitted marking Patient A's liver.

Farrer fined Bramhall £10,000 ($13,650, €11,250) and sentenced him to 12 months of unpaid community work. What was Simon Bramhall thinking of? The court heard that Bramhall later told police he had "flicked his wrist" and made the mark within a few seconds.

"I accept that on both occasions you were exhausted and stressed and I accept that this may have affected your judgement".

One of the patients supporting the surgeon was Barbara Moss, who was given just three months to live in 2006 when Simon Bramhall told her he would operate on a 15cm tumour.

The surgeon was given a formal warning by the General Medical Council last February and now works as an anaesthetist at a hospital in Hereford.

Defence barrister Michael Duck QC said: "A number of people who sit in this court are able to sit in this court because of the skill of Mr Bramhall".

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