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Indianapolis Doctor Provided His Own Sperm for Fertility Treatments

Steve Wagner

A small group of families in the Indianapolis area are looking for others who may share a very unusual and disturbing link with them. Three mothers, all former patients of Dr. Donald L. Cline, have discovered via DNA tests that in all likelihood, Dr. Cline, not their husbands or a random sperm donor, is the father of their children. The truth came to light after one of the patients’ now-adult children completed a commercial DNA test and put the results on a website called 23andMe. The analysis from the site linked her to eight unknown siblings.

In the late 70s and early 80s, Dr. Cline, now retired, ran a very popular fertility clinic on the north side of Indianapolis. Thirty years later, many of his patients are finding out he may have used his own sperm to impregnate them while they were seeking fertility treatments at his clinic. In court documents, Dr. Cline says he provided his own sperm to at least 50 women, maybe more. According to his own claims, the doctor believed he was helping the women during times when he did not have available donor sperm, and he never thought what he was doing was wrong.

Betrayal in the Doctor’s Office

Diana Kiesler, Liza White, and Deborah Pierce are now bonded together because of emotionally traumatic circumstances. They are trying to come to terms with the fact that a doctor they had trusted with the most intimate parts of their lives had betrayed them and invaded their lives in a way they could not even have imagined. Now they are ready to fight to make sure no fertility doctor can do this to other women.

The only charges filed against Dr. Cline were two counts of felony obstruction of justice, as there are no laws preventing fertility doctors from artificially inseminating patients with their own sperm without informing patients. Ethically, this may be a clear breach, but the legal ramifications are unclear. It may come down to the documents signed by the patients all those years ago—documents Dr. Cline says he has since shredded. A medical malpractice case would probably look closely at the documents that indicated the patient’s informed consent to treatment or procedures. In this case, there would seem to be an argument the patients were indeed NOT fully informed about the treatments being given.

If you are concerned about the wrongdoing of your doctor, you may want to call the medical malpractice attorneys at Wagner Reese. We can discuss the details of your potential claim and provide you with options for moving forward. Call us today for a risk-free, no-cost consultation (888) 204-8440.


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