Jan. 12, 2022 -- Simon Bramhall, a doctor in the U.K., has been removed from the country’s medical register and won’t be allowed to practice for branding two patients’ livers with his initials, according to the BBC.
The incidents occurred in February and August 2013, when Bramhall used a surgical device to write his initials on transplanted livers at the end of two surgeries. The 1.6-inch initials were discovered by another doctor when one of the organ transplants failed after a week, the BBC reported.
In 2017, Bramhall pleaded guilty and was convicted of two counts of assault, according to public documents from the U.K.’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, also known as the MPTS. The service hears complaints against doctors and determines if they can practice.
In 2018, Bramhall was fined £10,000 -- or roughly $13,704 -- and sentenced to community service. He had resigned from his job at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2014, and in December 2020, he had been suspended from practicing for at least 5 months.
The MPTS agreed to review the case in December 2020, including statements from Bramhall that said he “foolishly made a mark on the adjacent liver” and said his actions “were stupid and entirely wrong.”
Bramhall’s legal counsel argued that the doctor’s “fitness to practice was no longer impaired” and “that this case had never been about his surgical skills; rather it was about Mr. Bramhall’s lack of respect for the dignity of the patients.”
At a hearing in June 2021, MPTS said it was “satisfied that there is no discernible risk of repetition” of the incident and said Bramhall’s fitness for practice is “no longer impaired by reason of conviction.” The group revoked the order that suspended Bramhall’s practice.
But the case was re-submitted to MPTS. During a hearing on Monday, the service said it “accepted that no lasting physical damage was caused to either patient” but that Bramhall’s actions had caused one of the patients “significant emotional harm.”
The MPTS said that Bramhall was of “previous good character” but that removing him from the country’s medical register was the right sanction for being in “gross violation of his patients’ dignity and autonomy.”
After Monday’s hearing, an immediate suspension was put in place, according to the latest record from the U.K. General Medical Council. Bramhall has a 28-day appeals period.