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UK's fertility watchdog drops Mohamed Taranissi allegations

29 September 2008

By Ailsa Stevens

Appeared in BioNews 477

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has dropped all legal allegations against leading UK fertility expert, Mohamed Taranissi. They have removed a ban put in place last year, which prevented the fertility doctor from being the 'person responsible' for his 'Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre' (ARGC) in London, allegedly to avoid a judicial review which could damage the organisation's credibility if successful.

A High Court ruling in July 2007 found that Mr Taranissi was required to appoint a new person to be responsible for ensuring his clinics to abide by the law, after an HFEA committee found that he had been practicing without a licence. Mr Taranissi was granted permission to challenge the decision, however, rather than risk further defeat, the HFEA has decided to withdraw the allegations and pay Mr Taranissi's legal fees.

Following a High Court hearing in November last year, the HFEA was forced to withdraw additional statements falsely accusing Mr Taranissi of exaggerating his success rates and offering 'unnecessary and unproven' treatments. It also confirmed figures showing that the ARGC had the highest success rates in the UK, information that until then had been barred from the HFEA's website.

The saga began when, on 15 January 2007, police-assisted HFEA teams conducted simultaneous, unannounced inspections of Taranissi's two London clinics; an action which the HFEA claimed was the only way to obtain the regulatory documents required by law. Simultaneously, the BBC aired a Panorama documentary - 'IVF Undercover' - showing coverage of the raids, an incident which the HFEA claims was coincidental.

Taranissi is also suing the BBC for libel, over accusations that he coerced patients into having treatments they did not ask for. He has yet to face a disciplinary hearing at the General Medical Council (GMC) over accusations he carried out inappropriate tests and acted in an insensitive manner when treating two of his patients.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
BBC News Online | 29 September 2008
 
IVF watchdog lifts ban on Mohammed Taranissi to avoid challenge in High Court
The Times | 27 September 2008
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

18 January 2010 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is conducting an internal investigation into its own failings when investigating Mohamed Taranissi, the 'person responsible' for the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre (ARGC), London, in 2007 concerning allegations that he was operating without a licence, The Times newspaper has reported....
15 June 2009 - by MacKenna Roberts 
The BBC will be paying a steep legal bill, estimated between one and six million pounds, after settling a libel case with Dr Mohamed Taranissi, who is considered to be one of Britain's most successful fertility specialists....
03 November 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens 
Disciplinary proceedings against one of the UK's top fertility experts, Mohamed Taranissi, relating to allegations brought by two of his former patients, collapsed this week after the General Medical Council (GMC) ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support the charges. Mr Taranissi was accused of failing...
13 October 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens 
New figures release last week by the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) show that two clinics run by fertility expert Mohammad Taranissi - the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre (ARGC) and the Reproductive Genetics Institute (RGI) - are the most successful in the country in terms of...

12 November 2007 - by Ailsa Stevens 
Leading UK fertility expert, Mohamed Taranissi, has been cleared of allegations made by the government's fertility watchdog - the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) - falsely accusing him of exaggerating his success rates and offering 'unnecessary and unproven' treatments. This latest ruling marks the end of an ongoing...
13 August 2007 - by Katy Sinclair 
Mohammed Taranissi, reputed to be the world's richest fertility doctor, has been granted a temporary reprieve by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), in order that his appeal might be heard. Last month, Dr Taranissi, chief medical director of the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre (ARGC...
31 July 2007 - by Ailsa Stevens 
This month the UK's most successful IVF Clinic - the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre (ARGC) - was told by the regulator that it will have to appoint a new person to take legal responsibility for the clinic, or face closure. The ruling follows an ongoing dispute between the...
04 July 2007 - by Sandy Starr 
Raids carried out earlier this year by the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), on IVF clinics run by the pioneering fertility expert Mohamed Taranissi, have been ruled unlawful by the High Court of Justice. The case was expected to go to a full hearing, but...
02 April 2007 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
The UK fertility doctor, Mohammed Taranissi, has been given permission to seek a judicial review of the decision made by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to raid his London clinics last January, on the grounds that is was unjustified, disproportionate and unlawful. In the preliminary...

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