By Chris King •
Published: 23 Mar 2023 • 21:28
Image of Puerta del Mar hospital in Cadiz.
Credit: Google maps - Hospital Universitario Puerta del Mar
A lawsuit for €1m (£884,000) has been reportedly brought against the Puerta del Mar Hospital in the province of Cadiz. An unnamed Andalucian family has accused the medical facility of making an error by mixing up the sperm of the intended father with that of another donor, according to dailymail.co.uk.
The mother managed to get pregnant as a result of vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment. She and the family reportedly became suspicious about the looks of their new child this January, two years after becoming pregnant.
It is understood that a family friend with a medical background somehow accessed the child’s birth certificate. This investigation subsequently discovered that the child did not have the same blood group as the supposed father.
As a result, the family filed a lawsuit against the hospital, claiming its error had caused ‘very serious and irreparable moral damage’ to them. Their mistake was likely to cause ‘incalculable added emotional and personal impact’ in the long term they added. After discovering that she had carried a stranger’s baby inside her, the mother is also said to be experiencing ‘anguish’.
During an interview with Canal Sur Radio today, Thursday, March 23, Luis Martinez, the general director of Health Care and Health Results of the Andalusian Health Service (SAS), confirmed the existence of a second such case. Both occurred at the same hospital on the same date he revealed. The authorities have ruled out the possibility of more cases though he clarified.
Martinez explained that the traceability of the process and compliance with the protocols established for this type of intervention are being evaluated. The investigation is still in a ‘very preliminary’ phase he emphasised because the process is ‘very thorough, in order not to skip any steps and not to make mistakes in traceability’. At the same time, the authorities intend to clarify what happened ‘as soon as possible, and as quickly as possible’, he added.
He argued that regarding the causes that led to the ‘error’ in vitro fertilization: “from the scientific point of view, we always talk about three things; that traceability has failed, that of the sampling, or that there is a third cause”.
When asked by the interviewer about the fact that there had been an exchange in the semen samples of the parents, Martinez seemed surprised by this suggestion. This was because he considered that his genetic sequencers were ‘extremely careful in these instances because they are very sensitive situations and they affect people’, he pointed out.
Ignacio Martínez, a lawyer in the proceedings, and a lawyer attached to the Patient Ombudsman said that the case is a first but added that there could be more like it. The Ministry of Health, in charge of the hospital, has not yet commented and is waiting for the outcome of a number of procedures. In the meantime, the investigation is ongoing, as reported by 20minutos.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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