Doc’s Gone WIld – UK Edition! by Pat Conrad MD

Honestly, I almost want to call this dude my hero.  He’s not of course, but in this season of gift giving, I am tangentially grateful to the loony tunes, batshit crazy colleagues we have that deliver such hilarious stories.

Say an adult female with a history of liver transplant comes to you for recurring symptoms.  You open her up, and find…her previous surgeon’s initials etched on to her liver.

Last week British surgeon Simon Bramhall, 53, pled guilty to using an argon beam to brand “SB” on the organs of two separate patients during their transplant operations.

“On Wednesday, he admitted two counts of assault by beating at Birmingham Crown Court but pleaded not guilty to alternative charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.”

The Crown prosecutor noted that “It is factually, so far as we have been able to establish, without legal precedent in criminal law…[his] initialing on a patient’s liver was not an isolated incident but rather a repeated act on two occasions, requiring some skill and concentration. It was done in the presence of colleagues.”  Say, that’s a good point.  I’ve been in OR’s often enough to know that when a surgeon makes a joke, it is never just to himself and always with the expectation of getting a laugh.  Where were the nurses, techs, residents, and anesthesiologist?  And nobody saw a thing?  Of course, they all saw, all laughed, and not a damn one of them would cross the big dog that had been doing these for over a decade.

Is it okay even a little that a surgeon assaults, or at least, aesthetically molests a patient?  No, nope, not ever, and don’t misquote me, or I’ll sue (I might want to run for the Senate one day when the dementia really sets in).  But that much skill, brilliance, and hubris rattling around in a Planter’s Mixed can is just damn funny.

Let that happen here, and what would be the results?  Amidst the blizzard of lawsuits, there would be a media orgasm for at least a news cycle; concerned politicians and patient advocates unburdened with any actual medical expertise would hog the cameras.  The AMA would forcefully denounce any such behavior in a strongly worded urgent communiqué, and crank out a whole new list of ICD-12 codes to catalog any such injury.  And the AAFP, despite not actually having any surgeons, would require new MOC modules, just to get on the right side of the issue.

And before it was all over, wealthy Beverly Hills idiots would be demanding their designer surgeons sign their parts, probably in diamonds.

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  1 comment for “Doc’s Gone WIld – UK Edition! by Pat Conrad MD

  1. Sir Lance-a-lot
    December 16, 2017 at 8:06 am

    “Let that happen here, and what would be the results?”

    But, Pat, we already know: Just look up the tale of Allan Zarkin, [former] OB/Gyn, from almost ten years ago.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/01/22/nyregion/doctor-carved-his-initials-into-patient-lawsuit-says.html

    http://www.medicalbag.com/despicable-doctors/allan-zarkin/article/472310/

    “Zarkin was forced to accept a plea bargain with the consent of [the patient, and] … was found guilty of second-degree assault. The [patient’s] lawyer… said his client did not want to go to prison and opposed his criminal prosecution. Zarkin had been facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted of… first-degree assault. Zarkin, who was 62 years old at the time, did not go to jail. He was barred from applying for a medical license for 5 years. Zarkin settled the $5.5 million civil lawsuit against him for $1.75 million.”

    I guess he didn’t feel like re-applying for his license at the age of 67, after those Philistines gave him such a hard time. His NYS verification entry reads “License Surrendered.”

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