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OHSU's alleged misuse of sperm donation a violation of trust, UO professor says

Dr. Bryce Cleary says they agreed to only use his sperm for five babies, but so far 17 children have been found to exist.

Posted: Oct 3, 2019 6:18 PM
Updated: Oct 3, 2019 6:30 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Dr. Bryce Cleary donated his sperm back in 1989 to the Oregon Health and Science University.

Cleary said they agreed to only use his sperm for five babies and even then only for women on the east coast or outside the Pacific Northwest.

However, when Cleary took a DNA test online, he said he found out that neither of those promises were kept.

RELATED: DOCTOR SUES OHSU, CLAIMS SPERM WAS IMPROPERLY USED TO FATHER AT LEAST 17 CHILDREN

"I think people do have this reasonable expectation that somehow donors are only being used for what they would think is a reasonable amount of children," University of Oregon professor Camisha Russell said. "So I think that also for the people who use the sperm it may also go well beyond what they think is reasonable in terms of genetic half-siblings."

Russell said what happened to Cleary is a complete violation of people's trust.

She said his success as a doctor may have played a role too.

"People in these cases whose profiles look really good appeal to a lot of ideas we have about what makes good genes and what’s going to give children advantages and opportunities, and its often these donors who end up in this situation where a lot of people have used the donor's sperm,” Russell said.

Cleary, who is currently a doctor in Corvallis, is suing OHSU for $250,000 for each of the 17 conceptions for a total of $4.25 million plus another million for economic damages.

OHSU has since released a statement saying they cannot comment on the case because of patient privacy.

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