CRIMES IN REPRODUCTIVE medicine that entail embezzlement from sperm banks or the theft of human eggs and embryos—once imagined only in science-fiction or mystery novels—have become a disturbing reality. Rumors of “egg-snatching” have been intimated since the development of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure.

Robert Edwards, who in 1978 was responsible for the first successful “test-tube” baby, allegedly used eggs without the consent of donors. The field of reproductive medicine has become replete with accusations of malpractice and insurance fraud, due in part, to unprecedented technological and fiscal growth. The estimated $2-billion-a-year industry has outpaced regulations and legislations. Procedures for infertile couples have come under legal and professional scrutiny as bizarre scenarios have emerged involving human sperm, eggs, and embryos.

Fraud or negligence can occur ...

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