Page URL:

Top UK IVF doctor rebuked by regulator

31 July 2007
Appeared in BioNews 418

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 clinic's medical director, leading fertility expert Dr Mohammed Taranissi, and the regulatory body, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). The dispute centres on claims that one of his two fertility clinics has been operating without a valid licence, an allegation which he denies.

Despite this set-back, Taranissi said: 'We are pleased to have been told that we can continue to work and my priority is now my patients.'

This latest ruling forms part of an ongoing saga which began when, on 15 January this year, police-assisted HFEA teams conducted simultaneous, unannounced inspections of Taranissi's two London clinics, an action which the HFEA claims was the only way to obtain the regulatory documents required by law.

Simultaneously, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) aired a specialist investigative report - 'IVF Undercover' - showing coverage of the raids, an incident which the HFEA claims was coincidental: 'The programme was made by the BBC and we have not been involved in its making in any way'.

Taranissi pressed charges against the HFEA and, on 29 June, the High Court ruled that, through calling upon evidence that was 'seriously defective' and 'highly misleading', the HFEA had displayed unlawful behaviour in obtaining search warrants used in the raids. Taranissi is also in the process of suing the BBC for libel.

Dr Taranissi has been given until the 9 August 2007 to nominate a new 'responsible person' to oversee the clinic's legal proceedings, although he is reportedly appealing the ruling.

Despite the allegations, Taranissi has received support from the ARGC defence group, a pressure group comprised of many of Taranissi's former patients: 'We gratefully acknowledge and admire Dr Taranissi's dedication to his patients, putting our care first before his own frustrations of the total injustice he has been done by the HFEA'.

Two other regulatory bodies - the Healthcare Commission and the General Medical Council - have now launched their own independent investigations into the allegations that Taranissi's second clinic has been operating unlicensed.

IVF doctor banned from running clinic
The Times |  23 June 2021
Regulator rebukes top IVF doctor
BBC News Online |  23 June 2021
3 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...
29 September 2008 - by Ailsa Stevens 
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...
10 December 2007 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey 
New figures, released last week by the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), show that the number of women undergoing fertility treatment in the UK is continuing to rise, as are success rates. Data for 2005 shows a six per cent increase in the number...
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...
4 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...
2 April 2007 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
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...
26 February 2007 - by Cheryl Hudson 
Assisted reproduction patients are protesting in an unprecedented way after the recent broadcast of a highly critical BBC documentary about the UK's top IVF clinic. The Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre (ARGC) in London is under ongoing investigation by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) on a variety of...
22 January 2007 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
The UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has been heavily criticised for 'playing to the cameras' and jeopardising the fair trial of fertility expert, Mohamed Taranissi. The authority sent investigative teams, accompanied by police, to two fertility clinics owned by the doctor at the same time...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.