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Top IVF doctor cleared

12 November 2007
Appeared in BioNews 433

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 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 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. 'The programme was made by the BBC and we have not been involved in its making in any way,' they said in a statement published on the HFEA website. Taranissi pressed charges against the HFEA and in June the High Court ruled that the raids had been 'unlawful'.

In the documentary, Angela McNab, former chief executive of the HFEA, is reported to have warned patients against 'reproductive immunology therapy', the treatment under criticism, on the grounds that there was no scientific evidence to justify its effectiveness. But in a high court statement issued last week, the HFEA said that 'some doctors genuinely believe that [these treatments] offer benefits for their patients, and they are doing nothing wrong in providing such tests and treatments.'

The statement went on to say: 'The HFEA accepts that Mr Taranissi is committed to providing the best possible outcome for his patients.'

The HFEA has also confirmed figures showing that Taranissi's clinic - the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre (ARGC) - had the highest success rates in the UK, information that until now has been barred from the HFEA's website.

Mr Taranissi hopes that the ruling will be the end of his ordeal. 'It was all unnecessary in my view, but it is something you have to deal with,' he told the Guardian. 'Hopefully we can put this episode behind us now.'

Despite this agreement a ruling made by the High court in July, demanding that Mr Taranissi is required to appoint a new person to be responsible for ensuring his clinics abide by the law, remains in force.

Taranissi is also in the process of suing the BBC for libel.

Agreement reached in IVF claim
BBC News Online |  9 November 2007
IVF doctor cleared of inflating birth rates
The Independent |  12 November 2007
IVF doctor settles libel case
The Guardian |  10 November 2007
Top UK IVF doctor cleared
The Sun |  10 November 2007
19 September 2011 - by Sandy Starr 
The UK's fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), has published a long-awaited review of its conduct in relation to IVF specialist Mohamed Taranissi and related legal proceedings....
18 January 2010 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
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....
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...
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...
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...
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...
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