Canada Criminal charges not quite applicable to fertility doctor impregnation cases

01:58  10 april  2018
01:58  10 april  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Could a fertility doctor use his sperm today? The email also said that no additional criminal charges were expected. Civil cases such as this one may wind up settled before they ever go to trial, said Jody Madeira, a professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law

A Canadian fertility doctor is being sued by dozens of people who claim he used his own or unknown sperm to impregnate their mothers. In some cases , they were supposed to be conceived with an anonymous donor, in others with their mother’s spouse.

a close up of a person: A lawsuit against Dr. Norman Barwin has been growing, with more patients alleging that Barwin used his own sperm to impregnate them without their consent.© CBC A lawsuit against Dr. Norman Barwin has been growing, with more patients alleging that Barwin used his own sperm to impregnate them without their consent.

A growing civil suit against an Ottawa fertility doctor accused of using his own sperm to impregnate patients has not led to criminal charges, and one expert says that's likely because there isn't really a law dealing with allegations like these.

Norman Barwin has been accused of fathering at least 11 children using his own sperm without the consent of his patients and without informing them.

The allegations in the suit — none of which has been proven in court — date back to the 1970s and include Barwin's time at the Broadview Fertility Clinic and Ottawa Hospital.

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(Newser) - Sara Robertson is certain a fertility doctor used her deceased husband's sperm to impregnate other women without her knowledge. Somehow I don't think all you mental cases , would look at it the same way if a man impregnated a woman by performing oral sex on her and secretly

Indiana fertility doctor used his own sperm 00:58. Story highlights. Court documents say Dr . Donald Cline used his own sperm to impregnate patients. Now, Cline has entered a plea of not guilty to two charges of obstruction of justice. "It was unethical, what he did. He was telling his patients one thing

Ottawa police said they cannot confirm or deny that an investigation is underway, but did say Barwin is not currently facing criminal charges.

'Not close enough'

Carissima Mathen, vice-dean of the University of Ottawa's law school, told CBC Radio's All In A Day the allegations might not be covered by any current law.

"This could fall into a grey area where this is behaviour that everyone would find repellant and abhorrent, if the allegations are true, but it may not squarely fit inside the definition of offences within the Criminal Code," she said.

"You have a number of offences that seem close, but maybe not close enough."

The allegations, if true, could be a considered a violation of one's body, Mathen said, but might not meet the standard for assault or sexual assault under current law.

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A retired Indiana infertility specialist who used his own sperm to impregnate unwitting patients will not face prison time. Prosecutors are unable to file additional charges against Cline because there is no law on the books in Indiana that prohibits fertility doctors from using their own sperm.

– Donald Cline, the former Indiana fertility doctor who used his own sperm to impregnate his patients without their knowledge, is planning to plead guilty to obstruction of justice charges . Some of the children Cline fathered say they hope this case is the catalyst for new laws.

"Those are all premised on actual physical contact, so that would be the issue here," she said.

A fraud case would also be difficult to prove because they usually involve a more direct financial aspect, she said.

Criminal law often moves slower than society and technology, Mathen added. Parliamentarians may have to look at changing laws to deal with allegations like these rather than having courts bend existing laws to fit them.

"We have a long-standing principle that the courts should not be creating new crimes. The courts apply law; they should not be making law," Mathen said.

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