Canadian fertility doctor loses license for using wrong sperm, including his own, to inseminate patients

The 80-year-old is facing a lawsuit alleging 50-100 births with the wrong sperm, including 11 cases in which he used his own. (Representational/ Getty Images)

A Canadian fertility doctor’s license was formally revoked Tuesday for using wrong sperms to inseminate patients over decades. The 80-year-old is facing a lawsuit alleging 50-100 births with the wrong sperm, including 11 cases in which he used his own.

Bernard Norman Barwin was also fined CAN $10,000 for betraying the trust of his patients and causing "irreparable damage that will span generations", reported AFP. A College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario disciplinary panel said his behaviour was "appalling" and "reprehensible". Barwin’s lawyers pleaded no contest.

Barwin has not been practising since 2014 when he had to give up his medical license after being disciplined in a prior case for artificially inseminating three women with the wrong sperm, which he had blamed at the time on simple errors.

The incident came to light after one of the children born through insemination researched her genetic background, and another was diagnosed with celiac disease, which is genetic. Neither parent has the disease.

Rebecca Dixon, born in 1989, discovered at the age of 25 that Barwin was her biological father. "For a while I felt dissociated with my own face, as if the person looking at back at me in the mirror wasn’t fully me anymore," she said. She said she has found 15 half-siblings and expects the number to grow.

(With inputs from AFP)