Poems of the Week

Meet Dr. Doodle

by Julia Griffin

A surgeon has pleaded guilty to marking his initials on the livers of two patients while performing transplant surgery. … The renowned liver, spleen and pancreas surgeon used an argon beam, used to stop livers bleeding during operations and to highlight an area due to be worked on, to sign his initials into the patients’ organs. … The following summer, while an internal disciplinary investigation into his conduct was ongoing, Bramhall tendered his resignation. Speaking to the press at the time, he said marking his initials on to his patients’ livers had been a mistake. —The Guardian 

Of all the surgeries I’ve done
That give me still the shivers,
I think my worst mistake bar none
Was autographing livers.
The disciplinary invest-
Igation (that’s Internal)
Objected, with (among the rest),
The Hepatitis Journal;
But though some clearly were annoyed,
Consider, at this junction,
That it was argon I employed,
Which mars no organ’s function,
And think besides what filthy waste
Goes through those lobes so meaty,
Then tell me truly what’s defaced:
Their guts or my graffiti?