Fertility Doctor's Harm 'Will Span Generations'

Canada's Bernard Norman Barwin formally stripped of license
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2019 2:01 PM CDT
Fertility Doctor's Harm 'Will Span Generations'
Stock photo   (Getty Images/Motortion)

A Canadian fertility doctor once known as "the Baby God" has been formally stripped of his medical license after he was found to have used his own sperm to inseminate patients. A discipline committee of Ontario's medical regulator also ordered Bernard Norman Barwin to pay an $8,170 fine within 30 days on Tuesday, describing "appalling" professional misconduct that included replacing patients' partners' sperm with his own, and using sperm from unknown men rather than the anonymous donors patients chose, reports the CBC. As many as 100 patients were affected. Rebecca Dixon—one of at least 11 children of clients believed to have been fathered by Barwin, according to a lawsuit—helped unravel the mystery three years ago after discovering she had celiac disease, a hereditary condition that affects neither of her parents. "My life changed forever," she told the committee.

Another woman, Patient M, specifically remembered Barwin showing her a vial of sperm with her husband’s name on it. After learning she had been inseminated with another man's sperm, she said she "felt dirty, almost as if I'd been raped." The committee was none too pleased that the 80-year-old retired doctor didn’t appear to face those he "betrayed," causing "irreparable damage that will span generations," per the BBC. "We do, however, take some solace in the fact that you are no longer in a position to cause further harm," said committee chair Steven Bodley. Barwin was suspended from practicing medicine for two months in 2013 after admitting four patients were inseminated with the wrong sperm, per USA Today. He blamed errors, but gave up his license the following year. Medical regulators will be notified if Barwin applies to practice medicine outside of Ontario. (Similar disturbing stories are piling up.)

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