(NBC) – On Friday, a British surgeon, who burned his initials into patients’ livers during transplant operations, was fined 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 had done.
Frank Ferguson, of the crime prosecution service, said, “I’m pleased that we’ve held to account a doctor who has committed an offense of assault. The criminal law applies equally to everybody, and although these are a unique set of circumstances, this was a really important case – both for the witnesses and the victims involved – but also to maintain the confidence of the patients who put their complete trust in surgeons.”
The hospital said there had been “no impact whatsoever” on the success of the operations.
Former patients of Bramhall offered their support for the surgeon.
Barbara Moss, former patient of Simon Bramhall, said, “He saved my life. I was given a prognosis eleven years ago, three months to live. And I’m here, 11 years later and it’s thanks to him.”
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 behavior.”
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