Settlement against disgraced Ottawa fertility doctor gets court approval – .

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Settlement against disgraced Ottawa fertility doctor gets court approval – .


A total of 244 former patients and their children, including 17 children conceived using her own sperm, are among the plaintiffs in the case which has attracted worldwide attention.

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Ontario Superior Court Judge Approves $ 13.375 Million Settlement Against Disgraced Ottawa Fertility Doctor, Laying Groundwork For Hundreds Of His Victims To Receive Compensation And Learn More on their genetic makeup.

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A total of 244 former patients and their children, including 17 children conceived using Dr Norman Barwin’s own sperm, are among the plaintiffs in the case which has attracted worldwide attention. This is the first such court case in the world.

Rebecca Dixon, 31, started the affair with her parents, Davina and Daniel, in 2016. The Dixons traveled to Barwin in 1989 for help conceiving a child. Until 2016, all three believed that she was the biological child of both parents. But in 2016, through DNA testing, they learned that Barwin was her biological father.

She is one of 17 class action participants who learned through DNA testing that they are the biological children of the 82-year-old doctor.

Dixon said the discovery changed his world and that of his parents. She said the experience led to a “feeling of disassociation with my own face and a really disoriented feeling that my own identity – things that were just me – now had that connection with someone.” other ”.

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Rebecca Dixon called the approval of the settlement “a good step towards this closure that we are trying to find.” Photo by Julie Oliver /Postmedia

Dixon and some of his half-siblings have become close, forming a sense of family through their shared experience.

On Monday, she called the approval of the settlement a “good step towards this closure that we are trying to find.”

Barwin’s actions have been called “beyond objectionable” by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the regulatory body for physicians in Ontario. But he has never admitted wrongdoing and continues to deny the allegations in action. The settlement has been negotiated.

Regional Senior Justice Calum MacLeod of the Ontario Superior Court approved the settlement without objection.

Peter Cronyn, one of three Nelligan Law attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said 17 new plaintiffs have come forward since the class action lawsuit was certified in July.

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The applicants include 100 children who were conceived when their parents sought fertility help from Barwin. Most of these children do not know who their fathers are. Other claimants include men who have stored semen in clinics run by Barwin and are unsure whether it was used to conceive children.

Part of the settlement includes the creation of a private DNA bank for Barwin’s former patients. This will allow former patients who entrusted Barwin with sperm and children who do not know the identity of their biological father to determine if there are any matches. The DNA database will be coordinated by Orchid Pro DNA Laboratories.

“We believed that Dr. Barwin’s former patients needed to know the gaps in his practice. We also needed to provide them with a method to determine if their children’s genetic makeup was what they expected. And if that wasn’t the case, then to provide them with remedies, ”Cronyn said.

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Under the settlement, former patients and children will be entitled to up to $ 50,000 depending on the harm caused to the individual.

Barwin’s downfall from a once highly respected “whispering baby” to the Order of Canada has unfolded over decades. The cases in which the children of his patients were conceived using his own sperm or the wrong sperm date back to 1973. In 2019, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario revoked his license, fined him of $ 10,000 and berated him, saying his actions would leave a stain on the profession and families “will endure the consequences of his heinous acts indefinitely.”

The disciplinary college was criticized for failing to revoke its license decades earlier when the first complaints were filed.

Settlement approval begins the claims period which will run for an additional 120 days, during which potential claimants can submit claims to determine if they are eligible.

The settlement will be paid by the Canadian Medical Protective Association, a not-for-profit mutual society that represents physicians across the country.

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