Liability for mismanagement of sperm specimens in fertility practices

Micah Vaughn, B.S., Amjad Hossain, Ph.D., John Y. Phelps, M.D., J.D., L.L.M.

Volume 103, Issue 1, Pages 29-32


The mismanagement of sperm specimens in fertility practices can lead to lawsuits and unwanted publicity. In addition, allegations of mismanagement and the scrutiny that follows can tarnish the reputation of even the best facilities. Also, when mismanagement of sperm specimens has not occurred, defending allegations of mismanagement can be financially draining as well as time-consuming. The causes of action and complaints in many of these cases stem from [1] failure to maintain chain of custody, [2] alleged disposal of stored specimens without proper patient notification, [3] spoilage of sperm, [4] use of another man’s sperm without consent, [5] sperm mix-ups, and [6] misconduct of laboratory personnel.

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