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Surgeon Admits He Marked Patients' Livers With His Initials

In what we first thought sounded like an episode of Dexter, comes this story out of the UK.

A liver, spleen and pancreas surgeon has admitted marking his initials on the livers of two patients during transplant operations in 2013.

Simon Bramhall pleaded guilty to two counts of assault but not guilty to the more serious charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The 53-year-old used an argon beam to sign his initials into the patients’ organs.

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Argon beams are not normally not used for graffiti purposes but to stop livers bleeding during operations and to highlight an area to be worked on. The marks usually disappear by themselves and are not thought to affect the organ’s function.

Bramhall’s handiwork was first discovered by a colleague who spotted the initials ‘SB’ on the liver during follow-up surgery.

Shortly after Bramhall was suspended and an internal investigation into his conduct was launched, he handed in his resignation.

At the time, Joyce Robins of the UK-based advocacy Patient Concern said: “This is a patient we are talking about, not an autograph book.”   

One of Bramhall’s former patients, Tracy Scriven, had previously told the Birmingham Mail that he should be reinstated.

“Even if he did put his initials on a transplanted liver, is it really that bad? I wouldn’t have cared if he did it to me. The man saved my life,” she said.

Bramhall was granted unconditional bail and will be sentenced on January 12.

The Guardian UK

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