October 4, 2009

Embryo mix-ups anger in vitro patients

In vitro fertilization patients and specialists say they're upset and horrified by a mix-up of frozen embryos that led to the closing of a New Orleans clinic.

The Ochsner Medical Center suspended operations of its in vitro fertilization center last week after it lost four frozen embryos belonging to a Lafourche Parish, La., couple, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Sunday.

People who have had any kind of procedure in the fertility clinic are concerned, Melanie Lagarde, a lawyer representing Kim and Abraham Whitney, told the newspaper. I think (the couple) are incredibly angry. Something that they saved their hard-earned money for, that they took so seriously, Ochsner seems to have treated with incredibly little care.

Critics cited an incident in which an Ohio woman who had been implanted with the wrong embryo at a clinic gave birth to another couple's son.

What happened at Ochsner and what happened in Ohio is causing clinics to take a look at their procedures and evaluate them to see if they feel they're adequate or if they need to be enhanced, Eleanor Nicoll, a spokeswoman for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, told the newspaper.