What is the penalty for branding your initials on the organs of others? That unthinkable question has an answer. Dr. Simon Bramhall, who branded his initials with an argon beam machine on the organs of at least two patients in 2013 will have to pay a fine of just over $ 13,700 and perform 120 hours of community service for his crime.
One of the victims, referred to in court as Patient A, received a donor organ in a life-saving operation carried out by Bramhall.
But the donor liver failed about a week later – for reasons unconnected to its implantation – and another surgeon noticed there was something strange on the patient’s organ, something that appeared to be the initials “SB”.
Bramhall, who had operated on the patient in 2013 before he resigned from his job at the hospital in 2014 was the prime suspect.
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.
According to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Bramhall’s initials had no impact on the results of its operations.
To write his initials, Bramhall used argon beam machine. The laser is used to prevent bleeding and highlights the area in which surgeons should operate.
BBC reported that on one occasion, a nurse who witnessed Bramhall’s actions asked him what was happening. The doctor replied: “It’s something I do”.
The judge in the case, Paul Farrer, said he was sure that Bramhall had no intention of causing harm to his patients and that he would not believe that they would be affected by his actions. However, Farrer said that what Bramhall did was “an abuse of his power and a betrayal.”
“The two operations were long and hard. I accept that both times you were tired and stressed and I accept that this could affect your reasoning,” Farrer said. “This behavior was born of a professional arrogance of such magnitude that it became criminal behavior.”