January 27, 2023

Online Israel News

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Health Ministry Puts an End to Search of Parents of Mistaken Embryo

2 min read

On Sunday, the Health Ministry announced that it was putting an end to its search for biological parents of the mistakenly planted embryo.

It had been planted in the wrong woman, but the ministry stated that it was not shutting down the hospital’s fertility ward where the mistake had been made.

The decision

A hearing had been conducted for the Assuta Medical Center’s insemination unit, after which the Health Ministry said that they were not going to order the closure of the fertility ward.

However, it said that the ward will be required to cut down its activities by 50%, which means that it would now perform 5,000 fertility treatments, rather than 10,000.

Nachman Ash, the Director General of the Health Ministry, said that they had contemplated shutting down the fertility ward at Assuta Rishon Lezion.

But, he said that others receiving treatment there would have to bear the price and that would be too high.

The mix-up had become quite a hot topic. Ash said that once tests revealed that a potential couple were not the baby’s biological parents, they had decided to not continue their search.

The outcome

The mother who gave birth to the baby has already stated that she wants to keep it. She had also said that she was prepared to fight a custody battle, if needed.

The error had come to light not long before the birth of the baby back in October. If a couple wants to check the baby’s parenthood, they would now have to use the court system for filing an appeal.

A statement from Assuta said that it would comply with the decision of the ministry and had already taken steps to make improvements in the fertility ward.

It also added that the guesswork involved in identifying the parents of the embryos would soon be eliminated by technological solutions.

The reaction

But, it appears that not everyone was pleased with the decision of the Health Ministry. A group of patients who are getting their treatment at Assuta slammed the decision.

They are worried about the level of care they can expect and said that the ministry was supporting a hospital that has been extremely negligent.

The group said that the Health Ministry needs to speak up and to give answers to the difficult questions that have not been answered as yet.

In September, a former employee of the hospital in question had claimed anonymously that she had seen a number of cases of neglect firsthand when working at Assuta.

This neglect was in relation to how the embryos are handled at the hospital, but they had not responded to the claim.

The IVF laboratory manager at Assuta said a week later that a certain number of women undergoing IVF all over Israel end up carrying embryos that do not belong to them.

But, the hospital had also chosen to distance itself from this claim as well. Even though such cases are quite rare, they have happened elsewhere as well.

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