A British surgeon admitted to carving his initials into his patients’ livers while conducting transplant operations.
Simon Bramhall, 53, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault Wednesday in England’s Birmingham Crown Court after another surgeon found the initials “SB” etched into the internal organs of two patients during procedures in 2013.
Prosecutor Tony Badenoch said Bramhall abused his power as a surgeon by knowingly applying “unlawful force to a patient whilst anesthetized.”
Bramhall reportedly made his mark on the patients using an argon beam coagulator, which uses a laser to cauterize bleeding blood vessels.
Usually, such brandings do not cause harm to patients, but one of Bramhall’s female patients reported that her liver did not heal properly. Another surgeon found the initials during a follow-up operation.
The Telegraph reports that Bramhall worked as a liver, spleen, and pancreatic surgeon for 12 years at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Bramhall resigned from his position in 2014 after the other surgeon discovered the marks, causing the hospital to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the doctor.
“Those assaults were wrong not just ethically, but also criminally. It was an abuse of the trust placed in him by the patients,” Badenoch told the court.
Following his suspension, Bramhall told the BBC that he “made a mistake.”
The court is allowing Bramhall to remain free on bail until his sentencing on January 12. It is currently unclear how severe his punishment would be.