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Doctor accused of inseminating women with wrong sperm admits misconduct

A doctor prepares eggs and sperm for an attempt at artificial insemination.

Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

A renowned Ottawa doctor accused of artificially inseminating three women with the wrong sperm has admitted to committing an act of professional misconduct.

Dr. Bernard Norman Barwin appeared before a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario discipline panel in Toronto today.

An agreed statement of facts says Dr. Barwin and an expert review were "unable to identify any evident errors in the conduct of the artificial inseminations or in Dr. Barwin's office policies and procedures."

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But it adds Dr. Barwin "accepts that errors in his practice, which would fall below the standard of care, resulted in his failure to provide his patients with offspring from their intended biological fathers."

The medical college has not yet handed down punishment for Dr. Barwin, a celebrated gynecologist. But both sides are proposing two months suspended licence, a reprimand and paying for cost of proceedings.

Dr. Barwin agreed last year to stop the practice of insemination after the college filed its notice of hearing.

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