File photo: IVF Photograph:( Reuters )
For decades, Barwin has been a highly sought after fertility doctor dubbed “Baby God” for his success rate. He has even been awarded the Order of Canada
Hundreds of victims of a disgraced Canadian fertility doctor, including more than a dozen children conceived using his sperm, are set to share a proposed C$13.375 million ($10 million) class-action settlement.
For decades, Barwin has been a highly sought after fertility doctor dubbed “Baby God” for his success rate. He has even been awarded the Order of Canada.
However, some four decades ago, couples began to question his methodology.
It started in 1989 when Davina and David Dixon sought Barwin’s help to conceive.
They grew suspicious after their daughter, Rebecca did not resemble her parents.
When she developed celiac disease, even after nobody else in the family suffering from the illness, her parents approached Barwin for a DNA sample.
The doctor refused to comply. However, the Dixons managed to compare Rebecca’s DNA with that of another of Barwin’s patients.
They found a match. At 25, she learned that Barwin was her biological father.
Dixon told the Ottawa Citizen in 2019, "I was in shock. Something inside me shifted. It made me feel like my existence was something to be ashamed of".
Barwin is alleged to have told couples that the male partner’s sperm would be used.
Instead, they were unknowingly given random samples. Also, in some cases, it was Barwin’s own sperm being used. Barwin did not notify his patients of the errors.
Under the proposed settlement, former patients and children will be eligible for up to C$50,000 in damages. Also, a judge must approve the settlement before any money is made available.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario suspended Barwin in 2013 after he admitted to inseminating four women using the wrong sperm.
Also, he resigned his medical licence in 2014.