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Couple sues Tel Aviv hospital for $9.2m over in-vitro error

The pair discovered their child has no genetic link to the father.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Jan. 5, 2015. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Jan. 5, 2015. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.

A couple who discovered that one of their children is definitely not biologically related to the father, and a second one is most likely not as well, are suing Assuta Medical Center in Ramat Hachayal, Tel Aviv, for NIS 34 million ($9.2 million).

The couple discovered the truth three months ago when they were advised by a genetics specialist at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikvah to have their youngest child, age 2, take a medical test to determine if there was an underlying genetic cause for a medical problem, Channel 12 reported.

Blood tests instead revealed that there was no genetic compatibility between the child and the father. As the second child came from the same group of in-vitro fertilization embryos, it is nearly certain that it, too, has no genetic link to the father.

Five years ago, the couple, who are in their 30s, underwent fertility treatments at Assuta after having trouble conceiving.

Attorney Gilad Ginzburg, representing the couple, said: “Not only did Assuta run a cover-up campaign with the aim of closing the case under the table in an arrangement with the parents, but they also spread rumors about the couple …, very difficult rumors, things that should not be said.”

Attorney Anat Ginzburg, also representing the couple, added, “Assuta Hospital was colossally negligent. It’s that they failed to create safety processes. The writing was on the wall for many years, not a day or two. The family we represent paid the price.”

The hospital responded, “From the moment the couple first approached us, Assuta reviewed the case with the couple and acted with compassion and transparency towards them.”

In a related case, a second couple in March announced they were suing Assuta Medical Center in Rishon Lezion after being given the wrong embryo. They are suing for NIS 100 million ($26.8 million).

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