Wednesday, February 21

A Dutch gynecologist used his sperm in dozens of fertility treatments

A Dutch gynecologist used his own sperm in at least 21 fertility treatments and without the knowledge of the mothers between 1973 and 1986, as announced on Tuesday by a hospital in the city of Leiden where that specialist worked, confirming the third known case of this type. in the Netherlands.

The Alrijne center, which was called Elisabeth Hospital in Leiderdorp in the 25 years that Jos Beek worked as a gynaecologist, explained that Fiom, an organization specializing in paternity issues, was “approached in June 2021 on behalf of 21 children who They were looking for their father and it was established through DNA tests that they have the same one”, that of the doctor who died in 2019.

“It appears that this doctor donated his own sperm and used it to inseminate future mothers who were expecting sperm anonymously. It is not known that the children and their parents were aware of this. Fertility treatments developed worldwide from the 1970s to the mid-1980s”, explains the hospital, located in the city of Leiden, in South Holland.

The center does not know how many patients the gynecologist treated during that time and says that the files have all been destroyed, although “the possibility that dozens of descendants will be discovered is not ruled out”, so an appeal is made to all those who have been treated by this gynecologist to contact the hospital.

From the Alrijne board of directors, one of its members, Peter Jue, admitted that “the way this doctor acted at that time is unacceptable” and lamented the “negative impact this has on the parents and children involved.”

The center commissioned an independent committee in early January to investigate the situation and “retrieve and summarize as much information from the time as possible.”

The results are expected next summer.

The hospital also emphasizes that during the years in which Beek worked as a doctor “there were hardly any regulations regarding fertility programs, it was a field still in development”, thus stressing that “the situation now is completely different”, with national protocols and “consistent and careful” methods.

With the case of Jos Beek, there are now three gynecologists in the Netherlands who are known to have used their own sperm on multiple occasions during fertility treatments that they themselves carried out.

The first scandal broke out in 2017, when a Rotterdam hospital announced that it would investigate the case of Jan Karbaat, director of an assisted insemination clinic in that city, who would be the father of at least 80 people, according to investigations.

In 2020, it also came to light that the gynecologist Jan Wildschut used his own sperm between 1981 and 1993 in treatments carried out at the current Isala hospital (then known as Sophia Zwolle hospital). DNA tests coincided in at least 17 cases, although he is suspected of being the father of dozens of people.