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The fertility doctor who impregnated a patient – and the ethics of procreation

.- A woman who discovered that her biological father is the fertility doctor who helped her mother conceive has filed a lawsuit against him. A leading bioethicist says the case points to the risk of devastation posed by artificial methods of conception.

Like a lot of people, Kelli Rowlette had a DNA sample analyzed through a genealogy website, to learn more about her her family’s heritage.

When she received results from the DNA testing, Rowlette discovered something that she was not expecting.

Rowlette discovered that her biological father was actually a fertility doctor who had treated her parents, who apparently used his own sperm to impregnate her mother without her consent, according to a report from NPR.

The doctor, Gerald Mortimer, had consulted with Rowlette’s parents when they were having trouble conceiving in 1980. Mortimer said Rowlette’s mother, Sally Ashby, had a tipped uterus, and diagnosed Ashby’s husband, Howard Fowler, with a low sperm count and low sperm motility.

Mortimer proposed that he artificially inseminate Ashby with a mixture of sperm from Fowler and a donor. Fowler and Ashby agreed, on the condition that the donor was a university student with similar features to Fowler.

Mortimer is now alleged to have inseminated Ashby with his own sperm, without the couple’s knowledge or consent.

Upon discovering the deception, Rowlette recently filed a lawsuit against Mortimer and his wife, asking $10 million in damages for medical negligence, fraud, battery, and other charges.

In the lawsuit, Rowlette’s parents remarked that they would not have gone through with the fertility treatments had they known that Mortimer would use his own sperm in the procedure.
The complaint said that Rowlette, Ashby, and Fowler have all “been suffering immeasurably” since this discovery.

Read more at Catholic News Agency. 

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