According to CBC News, a possible class-action lawsuit against former fertility doctor, Norman Barwin of Ottawa, Canada, alleges he impregnated two patients with his own sperm without their consent. This potential lawsuit comes on the heels of a similar lawsuit filed in Indianapolis. Donald Cline, a retired fertility doctor, faces felony obstruction of justice charges stemming from allegations of having used his own sperm on patients undergoing fertility treatments.
The impetus for these Canadian legal proceedings against Barwin came after a family practitioner recommended that Daniel Dixon, who with his wife were former patients of Barwin, and his daughter, Rebecca, 26, undergo a blood test to confirm their genetic relation. The doctor found it peculiar that Rebecca had brown eyes when both of her parents had blue eyes.
The blood test results showed Rebecca’s father had type AB blood and she had type O positive, indicating that they were not biologically related.
“I remember just this wave of shock going through my body,” said Dixon in her interview. “It’s not something that you ever would imagine.”
Her DNA testing also revealed that she was nearly 60 percent Ashkenazi Jewish- Barwin is of Jewish descent.
“Last month, according to the statement of claim, Dixon’s DNA was compared to that of another woman, 25-year-old Kat Palmer, who had also been conceived at the Broadview Fertility Clinic. Palmer had been told by Barwin in an October 2015 email that he was her biological father,” Pritchard cited.
The DNA relationship test showed they were, “half-sisters by way of the same biological father.”
Attorney Peter Cronyn of Nelligan O’Brien Payne, who filed the class-action, shared with CBC News that his team is requesting that Barwin freely provide a DNA sample.
“I would hope that he [Barwin] would. But if he doesn’t, we’ll look to the courts to get a sample,” Cronyn told CBC News. “I think in these circumstances, the air needs to be cleared for everybody who may have a concern about whether or not the DNA of their children is what they expected, and if indeed there’s any connection to Dr. Barwin.”
Let’s hope that Barwin cooperates so any other families who have been harmed can be notified and pursue justice if they so choose.