May 29, 2024

Another case of fertility fraud in the US

Oops, not again. Another American gynaecologist using his own sperm to impregnate his patients? Yup, sorry. Dr Morris Wortman, of Rochester, New York, is being sued by the 35-year-old daughter of a woman who was treated in the 1980s.

According to the Washington Post, 35-year-old Morgan Hellquist knew that her biological father had been a sperm donor. She began checking on-line genealogical records and found that she had at least nine half-siblings.

A lawsuit filed this week alleges that the doctor falsely told Ms Hellquist’s mother that the sperm came from a medical student. It accuses the doctor of medical malpractice, lack of informed consent, battery, fraud, negligence and infliction of emotional distress.

Worse, to Ms Hellquist’s dismay, she discovered all this after she had been the doctor’s patient for several years. Hellquist “was in shock and disbelief that he would continue [to] treat her as her gynecologist if she were his biological daughter,” the lawsuit states.

“An interesting dichotomy is feeling gratitude for your existence and knowing at the same time that you are the product of something that should have never happened,” a 36-year-old man whose father is also allegedly Dr Wortman told AP.

“It became a tougher pill to swallow,” he said. “On one hand you’re grateful for your existence and the people you’re sharing the experience with. On the other, I don’t know how you forgive the violation of confidence and trust that a woman puts into her physician in the most intimate of settings.