IVF Doctor Used Own Sperm To Impregnate Patients, Fathering 16 Kids
A fertility doctor has lost his licence for using his own sperm to inseminate at least 11 women, and using the wrong sperm in dozens of other cases.
Once known as the 'Baby God' because of his ability to help couples conceive, Canadian doctor Norman Barwin is accused of using his own sperm during fertility treatments since the 1970s.
It is alleged between 50 and 100 children were conceived after their mothers received the wrong semen from Barwin, and 16 children have now been confirmed to be biologically his.
A class action lawsuit was launched against Barwin in 2016, prompting the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to investigate the claims.
The College found Barwin to be "incompetent" and committed an act of misconduct that "failed" to maintain the standard of practice.
"He engaged in acts or omissions relevant to the practice of medicine that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional," the College said in a statement of facts.
Barwin's actions were described as "beyond reprehensible" by disciplinary committee chair Dr Steven Bodley, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
“Your patients represent a group who were vulnerable and who placed themselves and their families completely in your trust," he said."
"You betrayed that trust and by your actions deeply affected individuals and their families and caused irreparable damage that will span generations."
Barwin claimed he had only ever used his sperm to "calibrate a piece of equipment" and this could have contaminated samples.
However, Dr Edward G. Hughes, who reviewed the case for the College, called this an "implausible" excuse.
Barwin was suspended for two months in 2013, after being accused by two couples of using the wrong sperm, after DNA testing proved the children were not biologically the fathers'.
He handed in his licence in 2014 after another patient complained.
Now, aged 80, he has had his licence revoked permanently by the committee. He has also been fined AU$10,800.