CBS Local — A British doctor has admitted to burning his initials into the livers of two patients during organ transplant surgery. Dr. Simon Bramhall has now been charged with assault, years after another surgeon discovered the branding.
Bramhall pleaded guilty to two counts of assault on Dec. 13, in a case that prosecutor Tony Badenoch called, “without legal precedent in criminal law.” The prosecution added that the 2013 assaults were carried out, “with a disregard for the feelings of unconscious patients,” according to the BBC.
The 53-year-old – who was a noted liver, spleen, and pancreas transplant surgeon – reportedly carried out the etchings in front of other doctors and was forced to resign from his position at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2014.
Bramhall reportedly used an argon beam coagulator to write his initials, which is the same tool surgeons use to seal bleeding blood vessels during procedures.
While the initials aren’t thought to be harmful to each patient’s liver and would eventually disappear, one of Bramhall’s victims did not heal properly, leaving the scar visible. Doctors believe the transplanted liver was already damaged before the patient received it, which caused the burns to not fade away.
Dr. Bramhall is now free on bail and is expected to receive his sentence in Birmingham Crown Court on Jan. 12. The 53-year-old called the entire incident “a mistake” following his medical suspension.