For the Future

For the Future – The Irvine Fertility Scandal tipped in 1995 became a Lifetime Movie which aired in 1996 starring Marilu Henner.

In 1995, the Orange County Register broke the story that Asch—then Chief of the University of California, Irvine’s Center for Reproductive Health—and his two partners were accused of taking women’s eggs without their permission for use by other patients. These eggs were fertilized and the resulting embryos transferred to these other women some of them then conceiving.[5] At least 15 live births resulted from the alleged practice.[5] At that time the misappropriation of human eggs was not considered a crime.[5] However, numerous civil law suits were filed, and UCI paid out more than $27 million to settle patient claims.[5][6] Auditors from KPMG Peat Marwick investigated the clinic and found that almost $1 million with cash money allegedly had been privately pocketed. Asch and colleagues Jose Balmaceda and Sergio Stone were indicted on charges of mail fraud and income tax evasion.[5] Asch went to Mexico, Balmaceda to Chile, while Stone stayed in the US and was convicted of insurance fraud in 1997 and paid a fine.[5]

In January 1996 Asch testified at a deposition in Tijuana that university employees were responsible for errors that had occurred such as mismatching patients and failing to obtain patient consents.[7]

Asch who held a tenured position was fired by the UC Board of Regents in 2000.[8]

[5] Teri Sforza (January 25, 2011). “Should UC go after fertility fraud doctor’s assets?”. Orange County Register. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
[6] Anderson, Nick; Schrader, Esther (July 19, 1997). “50 Couples to Get $10 million to end UCI Fertility Clinic Suits”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 15, 2009.
[7] Julie Marquis (January 20, 1996). “Fertility Doctor Denies Role in Errors”. LA Times. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
[8] Associated Press (July 22, 2000). “University Fires Professor In Embryo-swapping Scandal”. Utusan online. Retrieved June 22, 2015.

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