No jail time for 79yo retired fertility Dr Donald Cline of Indianapolis who stay quiet leaving Court & who admitted he lied to Attorney General about using his own sperm to impregnate his patients. @WTHRcom pic.twitter.com/J5po51mWhN— Steve Jefferson (@scoopjefferson) December 14, 2017
A retired fertility doctor, who used his own sperm to impregnate possibly dozens of women without their consent, will never be able to practice medicine again in Indiana.
Former doctor, Donald Cline, 79, gave up his expired medical license to the Indiana Medical Licensing Board. The 7-member panel also voted to bar Cline from ever reapplying for a license in Indiana, as an indication how grievous the former doctor’s transgressions were.
“It’s particularly egregious. The important thing is that Dr. Cline doesn’t practice anymore,” said Laura Iosue, Indiana’s supervising deputy attorney general.
Cline deceived patients who came seeking to solve their reproductive issues, telling him he would artificially inseminate them with donated sperm and no single donor would be used more than three times, said an affidavit.
However, authorities said Cline confessed to six adults, who suspected he was their biological father, that he had donated his sperm about 50 times between 1971 and 1981. Children of women treated by Cline claimed the doctor may have sired as many as 20 children.
“Dr. Cline admitted to doing wrong by inseminating the women with his own sperm, but felt that he was helping women because they really wanted a baby,” the affidavit said. “Also, he felt pressured to use his own sperm because he didn’t always have access to fresh sperm.”
In December 2017, Cline was giving a one-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice when he lied to two investigators. They were trying to find out whether the doctor, rather than an anonymous donor, donated the sperm without the women’s consent.
No other charges were filed against Cline because the state laws do not specifically prohibit a doctor from using their own sperm.
In December, Cline expressed remorse, saying he apologized to those who feel deceived and hurt. I was scared ... I was foolish in my actions and I should not have lied,” he said, according to WWL-TV.”
However, one of his biological children, Julie Harmon, 35, said “His only remorse was being caught. He has no remorse over the act at all.”
On Thursday, 10 people who believe Cline is their father and their mother were present at the court hearing.
Over three dozen people believe genetic testing offered through ancestry sites have linked them to the father, said Matt White, who was also sired by Cline.
Many of Cline’s former patients and their children are now focusing on persuading Indiana lawmakers to criminalize the use of a doctor’s own sperm for artificial insemination.
“Our goal is always to protect the public,” said Liz White, Matt's mother. “Their safety and the right to be told the truth is our ultimate goal.”
Her son has called the surrender of Cline’s license permit as a “slap on the wrist.” However, he admired the board for barring Cline from ever reinstating his license.
“That was a small victory,” he said.
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