DENVER — A potential fertility fraud case out of western Colorado is exposing a major gap in the state’s legal system after several families decided to go after a former Grand Junction OBGYN who allegedly used his own sperm for supposedly anonymous donations.
Currently, there is nothing specifically in Colorado law stating it is a crime for a doctor to use his or her own sperm or eggs without a patient knowing for an anonymous donation.
The Emmons family is exposing their very private, personal story in hopes of a creating a law to change the future of Colorado health care accountability.
“I feel used and dirty after all this time,” Cheryl Emmons testified in front of a House judiciary committee Tuesday, adding, “So many memories have turned dark and ugly. I ask you sincerely, please pass this bill to make sure doctors are held accountable.”
Emmons and her daughter Maia Emmons-Boring are not pleading with lawmakers for their own case, as the bill they’re fighting for would help other families and patients moving forward.
“When I found out I was doctor conceived, I felt completely helpless,” Emmons-Boring said. “This is like a Lifetime movie, not real life. We literally fall through the cracks. The laws haven’t kept up with the technology.”
“It’s a strange issue. It’s not something you think you have to legislate but that’s our job,” Rep. Kerry Tipper said.
On Tuesday, a House bill called “Misuse of human reproductive material, was unanimously advanced in a House judiciary committee hearing.
The bill makes it a class-6 felony for a health care provider to use their own sperm or eggs to impregnate a patient without written consent.
It also allows spouses and children of the patient to sue for damages up to $50,000, and the act would be considered unprofessional conduct under the license to practice medicine.
The bill will next head to the House floor for debate.