Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009
Doctor admits breaking in vitro egg guidelines
TAKAMATSU, Kagawa Pref. (Kyodo) A doctor has admitted implanting three fertilized eggs in a woman last September despite being aware that using more than one violated ethical guidelines.
Kiyoya Kawada, 61, an obstetrician at Kagawa Prefectural Central Hospital in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, said Monday he implanted two eggs in the woman Sept. 18 and a third on Sept. 20.
An ultrasound exam in October confirmed that the woman, who is in her 20s, was pregnant. However, she decided to have an abortion because the hospital had told her earlier that only two of the eggs were hers and the third was believed to be from another patient.
"I was aware that (implanting more than one egg) would violate" the guidelines of the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kawada said. "But I did it to increase the pregnancy rate."
Kawada's confession could spark a controversy because it raises the possibility that the woman may have had an abortion despite becoming pregnant with her own egg. There is also speculation that the hospital terminated her pregnancy without fully checking on the relationship between her and the embryo.
The hospital said it has an internal rule that obliges doctors to form a team when they conduct egg implants.
Kawada was supposed to work with two other doctors but in reality dealt with the case on his own, as the other doctors were busy doing other work, the hospital said, admitting to a lack of internal discipline on the part of the hospital.
"(The doctors) belong to other sections and I couldn't force them to cooperate with me. But I know I should have made sufficient preparations before doing that," Kawada said.