A former doctor for infertility treatment in Ottawa, who allegedly used his own sperm to inseminate patients, is today the subject of a disciplinary hearing in Toronto.
In a notice of hearing on its website, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario claims that Norman Barvin is incompetent and has committed an act of professional misconduct, “which will be considered disgraceful, dishonest or unprofessional by members of the Council.”
In particular, Barvin allegedly used his own sperm without the knowledge or consent of the people who came to him for the treatment of insemination, as well as the wrong sperm, which was not his.
He is said to have responded incorrectly to entering college while investigating his practice.
Barvin admitted to committing a professional misconduct when he appeared before a disciplinary committee of the College of Ontario in 2013, stating that because of mistakes in his practice, three patients had children whose biological fathers were not the same as they had expected.
The committee removed him from medical practice for two months, but Barvin refused the license next year.
Carolyn Silver, the college's general counsel, said that Barvin was not expected to take part in the contest, “bearing in mind that he would not dispute the charges that were transferred to the disciplinary committee, and the college would continue to announce the facts against him” .
Barvin has already given up his medical license, but the college may revoke it if he is found guilty on these additional grounds. This will alert other medical regulators if he applies for medical practice elsewhere.
He may also be required to pay a fine of up to $ 35,000 or to receive a reimbursement order to the college.
According to Silver, if Barvin does not take part in the competition and the committee finds that he is incompetent and is engaged in professional misconduct, statements about the impact on the victim are expected to be heard at the hearing on Tuesday.
"Life has changed forever"
Rebecca Dickson, who said she learned when she was 25 years old that Barvin was her biological father, among people waiting to read the statement.
“It was important for me to be there to remind everyone that what he did was a real human impact,” said Dixon, who is now 29 years old.
"This led to real people, real people whose lives changed forever because of his actions."
Dixon's parents turned to Barvin for help in conceiving in 1989.
According to the family, she was born next summer, but online DNA analysis later showed that her pedigree was almost 60 percent of the Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.
Barvin is a renowned member of the Ottawa Jewish community.
Then Dixon's DNA was compared to that of another 25-year-old woman, also conceived at the Broadview Reproduction Clinic, which Barvin said in an e-mail in October 2015 that he was her biological father.
Dixon said it was an emotionally difficult journey, but it was important for her to have the opportunity to speak at the hearing.
“This is unacceptable, and I hope that this will encourage conversations and reflections on fertility, its regulation and monitoring in the province and throughout Canada,” she said.
"Obviously, it changed my understanding of my personality."
Dixon is one of 11 representative plaintiffs in the proposed class action case, accusing Barvin of using his own sperm to inseminate clients.
Peter Cronin, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs, told CBC News that dozens of people were also involved in the lawsuit, who discovered the sperm used to conceive their children, not from the alleged father or donor.
Cronin said they are still working on collective action certification and potential clearance. So far, none of the allegations has been verified in court.