Invited by the University of Birmingham Conservatives, controversial backbench MP Jacob Rees-Mogg visited campus on Friday 9th March, speaking about his views on free speech, housing, mental health, Russia and tuition fees to a packed lecture theatre of around 300 students.Written by Erin Santillo & John Wimperis on 16th March 2018
Birmingham Liver Brander Fined £10k
In December 2017, Simon Bramhall admitted to branding the livers of two patients back in February and April 2013, whilst working as a surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham.
In December 2017, Simon Bramhall admitted to branding the livers of two patients back in February and April 2013, whilst working as a surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham. On January 12th, after pleading guilty to assault by beating, he walked from Birmingham Crown Court with a 12-month community order, 120 hours of unpaid work, as well as a fine of £10,000, but no jail time.
Bramhall, a previously well-respected surgeon, worked in the QE up until 2014 when he resigned.
The initials branded on the first patient’s liver were seen by another surgeon about a week after it had been implanted by Bramhall. The liver had failed due to reasons disconnected with the implantation. The 4-cm high branding was photographed on a mobile phone and Bramhall subsequently admitted to making the mark. The QE has reassured that the quality of the surgeon’s clinical outcomes have not been impacted negatively. “
“'What you did was an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust that these patients had invested in you'
The prosecution claimed that the actions were done with no regard for the patients’ feelings, and Tony Badenoch QC claimed that one of the victims felt violated after being branded with the initials ‘SB’ and was continuing to suffer psychological harm.
Addressing the surgeon, Judge Paul Farrer QC acknowledged the length and difficulty of the operations being performed and said that ‘I accept that on both occasions you were tired and stressed and I accept that this may have affected your judgment’. However, he also stated that ‘What you did was an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust that these patients had invested in you’. He went on, ‘This case is about his practice on two occasions, without the consent of the patient and for no clinical reason whatever, to burn his initials on to the surface of a newly-transplanted liver.’ “
“'It is important that the public feel that they are treated with dignity and respect'
Speaking to Redbrick, UoB Medicine student Alex Cotter, said that ‘as far as I understand the branding wasn’t to any adverse outcome for the patient. Thus, I am unsure of whether the actions he committed constitute “battery” in its entirety’. However, he went on to say ‘in order to maintain the public’s trust in the medical profession, it is important that the public feel that they are treated with dignity and respect’.
It has been said that the unique nature of this case has led to surgeons being placed under more intense scrutiny. They are no longer just liable for the medical mistakes that cause physical complications and can lead to suing - additionally, they may now face allegations for what could have been considered medical pranks in the past.