Dialogue Volume 15, Issue 3 2019 - Page 52

DISCIPLINE SUMMARIES DR. BERNARD NORMAN BARWIN PRACTICE LOCATION: Ottawa AREA OF PRACTICE: General Practice (Fertility Medicine) HEARING INFORMATION: Statement of Uncontested Facts; Plea of No Contest; Uncontested Penalty On June 25, 2019, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Barwin committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he failed to maintain the stan- dard of practice of the profession, and in that he engaged in acts or omissions relevant to the practice of medicine that would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonorable or unprofes- sional. The Discipline Committee also found that Dr. Barwin is incompetent. Civil Proceeding In 2016, Dr. Barwin was the defendant in a class action lawsuit from his former patients and their children. It is alleged that: (a) 50-100 children were conceived after their moth- ers received the wrong semen from Dr. Barwin when they attended Dr. Barwin for artificial insemination; (b) Of these, 11 children are genetically matched to Dr. Barwin through DNA testing; The class action attracted media coverage. The Col- lege initiated an investigation on the basis of the media coverage. Finding The College found that he had inseminated at least 11 women with his own sperm. In other instances, Dr. Barwin used the sperm of either a different donor than the one chosen by the patient, or used the sperm of a donor in place of the sperm of the patient's husband. Each of these acts violated his patients’ trust and their bodies. In its decision, the Committee wrote that Dr. Barwin’s misconduct is of the most egregious kind. His actions were unimaginable, with a complete and 52 DIALOGUE ISSUE 3, 2019 utter disregard for his patients, their partners, their offspring and indeed future generations in perpetu- ity. He completely violated his patient’s trust, as well as their bodies, by using his own sperm in place of the sperm of the patient’s husband or their chosen anonymous donors. The Committee noted that Dr. Barwin provided no explanation to the fact that many of his patients were inseminated with his own sperm. The explanation Dr. Barwin provided to his patients (that he was test- ing a “new automated sperm counter”) is completely unbelievable, stated a College expert. The expert’s opinion was that the use of Dr. Bar- win’s own sperm appears to be unrelated to poor knowledge, skill or judgment. In the absence of any credible explanation, the Committee does not know why Dr. Barwin deliberately used his own sperm in place of the sperm of the patient’s husband or selected donor. Whatever his motives for doing so, such deliberate actions, which are so contrary to a physician’s duties, are reprehensible and abhorrent. ORDER The Discipline Committee ordered: revocation of Dr. Barwin’s certificate of registration; a public repri- mand; and costs to the College in the amount of $10,370 for the one day hearing. For complete details of the Order, please see the full decision at www.cpso.on.ca. Select Find a Doctor and enter the doctor’s name. At the conclusion of the hearing, Dr. Barwin waived his right to an appeal and the Committee administered the public reprimand. DR. FREDERICK THOMAS BRAY PRACTICE LOCATION: Ottawa AREA OF PRACTICE: Internal Medicine; Gastroenterology HEARING INFORMATION: Admission; Agreed Statement of Facts; Joint Submission on Penalty On June 18, 2019, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Bray committed an act of professional mis- conduct, in that he has engaged in an act or omis-