A Dutch gynecologist used his own sperm in at least 21 fertility treatments without the mothers’ knowledge between 1973 and 1986, announced this Tuesday a hospital in the city of Leiden where that specialist worked, confirming the third case of this type known in the Netherlands.
The Alrijne center, which was called Elisabeth Leiderdorp Hospital in the 25 years in which Jos Beek worked as a gynecologist, he explained that Fiom, an organization specializing in paternity issues, “approached him in June 2021 on behalf of 21 children who were looking for their father and established it through DNA testing who have the same”, the doctor who died in 2019.
“It appears that this doctor donated his own sperm and used it to inseminate future mothers who were expecting sperm anonymously. It is not known that the children and their parents were aware of this. Fertility treatments developed worldwide from the 1970s to the mid-1980s., explains the hospital, located in the city of Leiden, in southern Holland.
The center does not know how many patients the gynecologist treated during that time and says the files have all been destroyed, though “the possibility of discovering dozens of descendants is not ruled out”, so all those who have been treated by this gynecologist are appealed to contact the hospital.
From the Alrijne board of directors, one of its members, Peter Jue, admitted that “the way this doctor acted at that time is unacceptable” and regretted the “Negative impact this has on the parents and children involved.”
The center commissioned an independent committee in early January to investigate the situation and “retrieve and summarize as much information from the time as possible.” The results are expected next summer.
The hospital also emphasizes that during the years in which Beek worked as a doctor “there were hardly any regulations regarding fertility programs, it was a field still in development”, thus stressing that “the situation now is completely different”, with national protocols and “consistent and careful” methods.
With the case of José Beek, now three gynecologists in the Netherlands are known to have used their own sperm on multiple occasions during fertility treatments they performed themselves.
The first scandal broke in 2017, when a hospital in Rotterdam announced that it would investigate Jan Karbaat’s case, director of an assisted insemination clinic in that city, who would be the father of at least 80 people, according to investigations.
In 2020, it also came to light that the gynecologist Between 1981 and 1993, Jan Wildschut used his own sperm in treatments carried out at the current Isala hospital (then known as Sophia Zwolle hospital). DNA tests coincided in at least 17 cases, although it is suspected that he is the father of dozens of people.
(with information from EFE)
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