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Man's sperm used to inseminate the wrong woman

25 September 2006
Appeared in BioNews 377

A man is suing Oregon Health and Sciences University, in the US, after doctors used his sperm to inseminate the wrong woman. The man, anonymised for legal reasons, donated his sperm so that his fiancé could be inseminated. He is seeking $2 million in compensation and has filed another lawsuit to determine whether the child was born. The biological father's right to be connected to his child is being pitched against the mother's right to privacy. The couple on the receiving end of the mistake are said to just want to be left alone.

The court papers described how the couple who received the wrong sperm during insemination were asked to return to the hospital where the woman was given the morning after pill and offered a free abortion if the pill failed along with two free artificial inseminations. The husband stated in the papers that '[we] were not permitted to leave until my wife swallowed the medicine under the watchful eye of a nurse'. The hospital has declined to comment.

The hospital carries out around 1,000 IVF procedures a year and has said that new procedures have been put in place as a result of the incident.

Couple told of error in insemination
The Associated Press |  23 September 2006
Man's £1m suit over sperm mix-up
The Independent |  25 September 2006
Man suing hospital over sperm mix-up
The Seattle Times |  23 September 2006
4 February 2013 - by Ari Haque 
Ottawa fertility doctor Norman Barwin has been suspended from practising medicine for two months after artificially inseminating women with the wrong sperm. Five women were involved in four incidents of receiving the wrong sperm between 1986 and 2007....
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