The Sperm Donating Doctor
Many couples who would love to have children find that for one reason or another they are unable to conceive on their own. Fortunately, medical science and technology have reached a level where it is possible to help couples and individual women to conceive. However, things can sometimes go terribly wrong in ways that you might not expect, and that is why a family in Colorado recently filed a lawsuit. They claim that a fertility doctor did not use the sperm of an anonymous donor to impregnate a woman. Instead, he used his own sperm without telling the woman.
The lawsuit says that the Grand Junction fertility specialist, Dr. Paul Jones, committed fraud when he used his own sperm as a means to artificially inseminate Cheryl Emmons on two different occasions. It first occurred in 1980 and then again in 1985. In addition to fraud, the suit alleges negligence and other causes of action. The family is seeking damages in a civil trial.
How Was This Discovered?
Remember when we said that technology had come a long way in recent years. Well, it turns out that the now adult daughters found that they shared DNA with a number of strangers who were born from 1976 to 1997. They found this out by using 23andMe.com and Ancestry.com. The daughters did not know that they had been born through the use of artificial insemination until after they talked with their mother about what they had found on those sites.
It turned out that the man they believed to be their biological father had suffered from testicular cancer, which made conceiving more difficult. It was only recently, after their use of those DNA sites, that they realized the truth.
Dr. Jones told a news station that he did not deny it nor does he admit to using his own sperm to inseminate Emmons. It is unknown if there are other women who may have also been inseminated by Jones.
Not an Isolated Case
You might have thought and hoped this was the only case of its kind. However, if you have learned anything by reading about weird legal cases, you will know by now that there are no limits to the things that people will do. This is far from the only case of its kind. A gynecologist from Idaho Falls named Dr. Gerald E. Mortimer was recently accused of using his own sperm to inseminate eggs when people were seeking fertility treatments. He did this in 1980, and it is also unknown how many women he inseminated. He confessed to doing it more than twice but less than 10 times.
How was this case found out? If you haven’t guessed it already, it was because of Ancestry.com. The website linked Kelli Rowlette to Mortimer and showed that he was her biological father. These DNA sites are proving to be very helpful for a host of reasons, and it will be interesting to see how many other cases like this might be uncovered.
One of the strangest things about the case and others like it is that there are only a handful of states in the United States where it is illegal for a fertility doctor to do this. California has fertility fraud laws, and Texas recently past one of these laws. Colorado, where this took place, does not have this same type of law on the books.
These cases and others like them are certainly going to be interesting to watch and unfold. They have caused some serious pain for the patients who were involved, as well as their families. They deserve to have some type of damages for what they have been through.