Fertility doctor who used own sperm in clinic carried genetic disorder

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A gynecologist who has conceived dozens of children using his own sperm in fertility treatment has carried a potentially deadly genetic disorder, research has found.

The number of children born to mothers who were inseminated with Jos Beek’s sperm at his clinic in Leiderdorp has been increased from 21 to 41, reports NOS. The women were unaware that he was the biological father.

The genetic disorder was discovered after two children born to the same mother died in infancy. DNA research at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, where Beek worked, revealed that both she and the gynecologist were carriers of the condition.

Didi Braat, chair of the independent committee set up to investigate Beek’s practice, said: ‘You do not get sick with it yourself and if you have a child they will not get sick either. But once the father and mother are both carriers of this gene, it can go awry. ‘

Braat said the 41 children identified so far were born between 1975 and 1990. It was previously thought that Beek stopped practicing in 1986.

“The thing that really struck us was the stories of the parents and children,” Braat told Omroep Wes. ‘Beek has made women believe they should never talk about treatment and many of them have. It was very emotional. “

Beek, who died in 2019, is one of five Dutch fertility doctors known to have used their own sperm to inseminate patients without their knowledge. The first was Jan Karbaat, who is known to have had the father of at least 80 donor children.

Last week, Henk Ruis, a retired gynecologist in Brabant, revealed that he had used his own sperm in fertility treatment on at least three occasions, but he insisted it was coincidental in each case and he made contact with two of the children.

In 2004, the law was changed to remove the option to donate sperm anonymously. All data regarding artificial insemination since then must be registered and made available on request.

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