- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A British surgeon has the bizarre distinction of pleading guilty to two counts of assault — but not for punching people in the face.

Simon Bramhall branded his initials into transplanted livers while his patients were under anesthesia.

The 53-year-old surgeon threw Birmingham Crown Court into unprecedented legal territory this week over a case in which “SB” was laser-etched into patients’ organs.

He was a liver, spleen and pancreatic surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for 12 years before the discovery prompted his resignation in 2014.

The victims, unidentified by the court, were a man and a woman.

“This has been a highly unusual and complex case, both within the expert medical testimony served by both sides and in law,” prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said during court proceedings, the Daily Telegraph of London reported Wednesday.

“It is factually, so far as we have been able to establish, without legal precedent in criminal law,” he said.

The newspaper said the instrument used to mark the patients, an argon beam coagulator, typically does not leave permanent scars. Evidence was found by another doctor when a patient’s liver did not fully heal after surgery.

“It was an intentional application of unlawful force to a patient whilst anesthetized,” Mr. Badenoch continued. “His acts in marking the livers of those patients were deliberate and conscious acts … It will be for others to decide whether and to what extent his fitness to practice is impaired.”

Bramhall is free on bail and will be sentenced Jan. 12.

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