Dr. Berger’s Fertility Doctor Lawsuit: Dr Accused of Impregnating With Own Sperm

Did you hear about Dr. Berger’s fertility doctor lawsuit in Boston? A most prominent fertility doctor sued for using his sperm to impregnate a patient without her knowledge. This alleged act came on screen when a girl, Sarah, got the results of an at-home DNA test.

In a statement, Boston IVF told CNN that we learned that Dr. Merle Berger was named in a lawsuit more than 40 years ago. The reproductive endocrinology and infertility field is much different than decades ago. Patients must be assured that our field upholds the most rigorous ethical and medical standards. Let’s explore all the details of Dr. Berger’s fertility doctor lawsuit events.

Dr Merler Berger has now retired, but he once worked in a leading fertility clinic at Harvard Medical School for almost 35 years and served as the New England Fertility Society president in 1992.

Dr. Berger's Fertility Doctor Lawsuit

Sarah Depoian and her husband went to Dr. Berger in 1980 when the couple struggled to conceive. Berger told them the doctor would use sperm from an anonymous donor who would resemble her husband. However, Sarah Depoian claimed he used his sperm. 

Depoian attorney Adam Wolf said, ‘To be clear, my client would not have consented if Dr. Berger had told that he was going to insert his own sperm into her body. She feels so violated.”

Carolyn Bester is the daughter of Depoian, who did a DNA test at home. He also said I knew many people who tried DNA tests and thought I would enjoy doing the research. Berger was her biological father when a relative of Berger’s reached out to her on one of the ancestry platforms and tried to figure out how they could be related.

Bester is a New Jersey lawyer who also has a 5-year-old son and says that she was not aware that her father is not her biological father that Sarah knew after DNA Test. She said, ”That was its shock. She said I did not leave bed for a day after that.” Berger is being sued for fraud under Massachuesetts’ consumer protection law.

A representative for Boston IVF said in a statement, ‘This matter occurred more than 40 years ago, before Dr. Berger’s employment at Boston IVF before the company existed.” Furthermore, he said, this is a time to highlight the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, which is much different from what it was decades ago. The safety measures would make such allegations impossible nowadays. 

After these fertility fraud allegations, more cases have risen as at-home DNA tests to uncover malpractice in the early days. A leading fertility fraud expert, Jody Madeira, said that an individual who approached me and my colleagues who have been involved in more than 40 cases. Furthermore, she explained that the 1970s and 80s were referred to as ‘the ‘bad old days” of reproductive medicine.

In another case, In Vermont, a doctor was ordered to pay $5 million in damages last year. Dr John told a patient that he would use sperm from an unnamed medical student. Moreover, another case was popularized with a Netflix documentary, ”Our Father.”

Dr. Berger's Fertility Doctor Lawsuit

In this story, there was an Indiana doctor who fathered 100 children with his patients, and they claimed to have used anonymous sperm. Madeira said we believe that there is no fertility for a doctor who has just done this once. Among these, most have a sibling group of about 17 to 20.

The first baby was born in the 1970s and 80s via in vitro fertilization before Bester’s birth. Problems with fertility were considered secretive and shameful. Doctors encouraged their patients to keep their use of sperm a secret.  Dr Merle Berger pioneered medical fertility and, in 50 years of practice, helped millions of families fulfill their dreams of having a child. Before sperm banks, it was dramatically different from modern-day fertility treatment.

Sarah’s attorney acknowledged Berger’s prominent work in the fertility industry. However, Dr. Berger’s professional achievements do not excuse these heinous actions.  More than 150,000 babies have been born through Boston’s network of fertility clinics since its founding in 1986. Sarah said, I am still struggling to process it, but it will never change our love for our daughter. Now, our voices will be an instrument of justice.

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