U of U Report: No Need to Contact Families on Lab Switch
(KUTV) A University of Utah "Special Review Committee" has completed its investigation into the sperm switch at a long closed lab, which had links to the university.
"The committee does not recommend contacting couples that received fertility services at Community Lab/RMTI...in order to warn them of a possible sample switch," wrote a panel of three medical doctors. "The justification for this recommendation is that the risk of having been victimized...might be very low."
The report, still not officially released by University Health Sciences---but obtained by 2News---said reviewers could not determine if the sperm switch went beyond one family, or whether it was an accident or intentional.
The swap, which was uncovered by one couple after DNA tests, showed the sperm of late RMTI worker Tom Lippert was used to conceive their now adult daughter, rather than a sample from the girl's father.
Lippert, who had a criminal past, was employed by in the 1990s by RMTI---which counted U faculty members among its leadership.
The report noted Lippert was a "frequent (sperm) donor between 1983 and 1993," which was within the time that the couple who uncovered the switch had been patients at the Community Lab.
"The university clinic served an estimated 1500 couples during the five years that Mr. Lippert worked at the University of Utah," the report stated. Besides the possibly low risk of other lab sample switches, the review committee said if the "U" were to try to contact all those families, "the burdens of this information are likely to outweigh the benefits." Further, it said "the challenges of accurately identifying and informing hundreds of couples after two or three decades are enormous."
Meantime, a former secretary in the university Andrology Department said university reviewers did not reach out to her during their investigation.
"I'm very surprised they didn't contact me," said Jane Jeremenko, who described herself as an office manager in the Andrology program. "I worked there 14 years, and the patient files were primarily in my control."
She said an outside entity should have conducted the review, rather than the university.
Asked if she thought reviewers might overlook, or sweep some things "under the rug," Jeremenko replied, "I do."
A "U" health spokesman said copies of the report would be officially released later this week, and that the university would make a person available to answer questions about the findings.
Governor Herbert Calls Bundy Comments 'Despicable'
(KUTV) Governor Gary Herbert called rancher Cliven Bundy’s recent racist comments ‘despicable’ in a press conference Thursday – and called for calm, saying both militias and the federal government needed to back off.
Americans came close to violence in the Nevada cattle-battle earlier this year, when Bundy refused to pay grazing fees.
At a KUED news conference in Nevada Thursday, Governor Herbert offered advice to both sides.
“Count to 10, bite your lip, and back down,” he said.
The New York Times reports Cliven Bundy made comments about African American people being “better off under slavery.”
“I’ve heard the racist comments,” Governor Herbert said, “I think those are from ignorance and are despicable and offensive.
The Governor also said Utahns should have frustrations over public land, but Nevada’s problems should spread to Utah – saying Utah is not part of the troubles in Nevada.
Fertility Patient Questions Son's Connection to Alleged Sample Switcher
(KUTV) In the wake of the Lippert case different problems have come to light concerning the now closed andrology lab and clinic at the center of a fertility fiasco.
A South Jordan family called University of Utah Healthcare when the Lippert story broke. Diane MacAfee says she believed there to be a resemblance between her son and Lippert, what they found was he had no connection to Lippert.
Diane is not completely convinced that Lippert is not her son's biological father and she wonders if the sperm sample the University has on file is Lippert.
Given all the problems that appear to have been happening back then, Sean Mulvihill who appointed the committee to look at the Lippert issue, says the committee appears to be comfortable with the sample they used during the process.
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