A consequence of the increased uptake of home DNA tests is the shocking discovery that some fertility doctors have used their own sperm to ‘treat’ their patients’ infertility issues. The unsuspecting mothers would have assumed that the sperm was from their husbands or anonymous donors.
In Indiana, Dr Donald Cline has been stripped of his medical license after being prosecuted. Cline had assured his patients that he would be using sperm from the patient’s husband or an anonymous medical resident who physically resembled the husband. Instead he secretly used his own sperm in over 48 cases. All of the donor-conceived persons have now been confirmed to be genetically related to Cline.
Cline was not prosecuted for the dishonest and disturbing act itself, but for obstructing justice due to initially lying to investigators about his actions.
In the wake of the Cline case, a bill has been proposed in Indiana to clarify that this type of activity is illegal. Last month, Senate Bill 174 passed the Senate unanimously. Now, it’s been referred to the Indiana State House of Representatives and a House Judiciary Committee.
Professor Jody L. Madeira, of the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University Bloomington, is the author of Taking Baby Steps: How Patients and Fertility Clinics Collaborate in Conception. Professor Madeira has been working closely with stakeholders in the Cline and similar cases and has coined the phrase ‘doctor-conceived’ as opposed to the usual term for persons conceived in this manner: ‘donor-conceived’.
Professor Madeira explained that more and more individuals are finding themselves in this situation, and hoping to seek legal action. Some states are taking action to support the victims, and to send a clear message to the medical practitioners. In addition to Indiana, Texas has a bill working its way through their legislature to clarify the criminal code. The bill also includes jail time for defendant medical providers. Information on AlphaBiolabs paternity tests can be found in our Learning Center articles Paternity Testing FAQs and DNA Testing FAQs. If you have any queries or need further information on any of our DNA testing services, please contact AlphaBiolabs via Live Chat or call now at 727-325-2902.