Families take on doctors who used own sperm

12 August 2018 - 00:00 By Tania Broughton

Not everyone is as forgiving of doctors who use their own sperm to inseminate their patients.
US resident Kelli Rowlette has filed a lawsuit in a district court in Idaho against fertility doctor Dr Gerald Mortimer seeking damages of $10-million (R139m) for fraud, medical negligence and "deception".
Rowlette discovered, through DNA testing, that without her parents' knowledge Mortimer had used his own sperm in a "cocktail", which also contained her father's sperm, to impregnate her mother. He had pretended that it had come from a student who looked like her father with "brown hair, blue eyes and over six feet tall".
CNN reported in 2016 that Indiana doctor Donald Cline was charged after a woman learnt that he was her biological father, rather than an anonymous medical student, as he had claimed to her mother.
That year BBC news reported that Daniel and Davina Dixon and their daughter, Rebecca, filed a civil lawsuit in Canada against Dr Norman Barwin. They believed Daniel's sperm was used to conceive their daughter.
Davina then saw a social media post that said it was unlikely for two people with blue eyes to have a child with brown eyes. Rebecca bore an "uncanny resemblance to Barwin", and blood and DNA tests confirmed that Daniel was not her father.
In 2017, the Guardian reported that a group of families, whose children were born via in vitro fertilisation in Rotterdam, had started legal proceedings against fertility doctor Jan Karbaat's clinic.
They wanted to use cells from the clinic for DNA testing. Karbaat opposed the move, but then died. Police took personal effects from his home, including his toothbrush. A Dutch court ruled that DNA tests could be carried out but ordered that the results remain sealed.

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