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A former Harvard Medical School professor has been accused by a former patient of inseminating her with his own sperm — and without her knowledge — during an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure.

In a new lawsuit [filed by Adam Wolf of Peiffer Wolf], Maine resident Sarah Depoian is claiming that fertility doctor Merle Berger, who founded the Boston IVF clinic, told her that the sperm he was using in her insemination was from a “medical resident who resembled her husband, who did not know her, and whom she did not know.”

Depoian went to Berger in 1979 and her insemination occurred at some point the next year, but the horrible alleged secret didn’t come out until recently. Depoian’s daughter Carolyn Bester, allegedly born of the unethical procedure, took at-home DNA tests that linked her to some of Berger’s relatives. Soon after, the now-42-year-old pieced together what had happened.

“To say I was shocked when I figured this out would be an extreme understatement,” Bester told the Associated Press. “It feels like reality has shifted.”

“My mom put her trust in Dr. Berger as a medical professional during one of the most vulnerable times in her life,” the daughter continued. “He had all the power and she had none.”

While this is far from the first time a fertility doctor has been accused of inseminating patients with his own sperm — side note: what’s going on with these sickos? — it’s notable given that Berger was affiliated with the Ivy League school and was practicing when IVF was still a new technology. Indeed, the first IVF clinic in the US opened in 1978, just a year before Depoian went to the fertility doctor to help her conceive.

Ironically, Harvard itself — which distanced itself from Berger in a statement to the AP, pointing out that although the doctor did teach at its medical school, he was employed by Harvard-affiliated hospitals that the school neither owns nor operates — published a blog post in 2018 about doctors inseminating their own patients and families not discovering until decades later when doing at-home DNA testing.


Full Story: Futurism December 15 2023

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