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.