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Celiac Diagnosis Helps Prove Child Was Fathered by Fertility Doctor

A celiac disease diagnosis was part of a puzzle that led a couple and their child to the fertility doctor who had helped them to conceive.


Fertility doctor secretly fathered patients' children. Photo: CBC

Celiac.com 11/21/2016 - Even early on, strange inconsistencies caused Dan and Davina Dixon to wonder about her daughter, Rebecca. With dark hair and olive skin, Rebecca looked visibly different from her fair-complected parents. She looked different enough to wonder, as a child, if was adopted, if Dan and Davina were really her biological parents, as they assured her they were.

Later, in her twenties, Rebecca developed celiac disease, which usually runs in families, even though no one else in their extended family suffered from it. Most of this was merely fodder for curiosity, until the day Davina saw a Facebook post that mentioned how rare it is for parents with blue eyes to have a child with brown eyes.

Wondering about Rebecca's brown eyes, Davina went to the family doctor, who suggested a blood test. That's when the real mystery began: The blood test revealed that Rebecca's dad, Dan, was not, in fact, her biological father. There was absolutely no doubt. Dan's blood type was AB, while Rebecca's was O-Positive. That makes it impossible for Dan to be her father. A paternity test followed, and confirmed the blood results. There was simply no chance that Dan was Rebecca's biological father.

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Naturally, the Dixons began to search for answers. As reported by Kidspot, Rebecca was raised believing that Dan and Davina were her biological parents. The couple had tried for years to conceive a child. Unsuccessful, they turned to Dr. Norman Barwin, a gynecologist and fertility expert known by many as Canada's "baby god."

The couple wondered whether there could have been some sort of mix-up in Barwin's office. Eventually, they noticed Rebecca bore a striking resemblance to Dr. Barwin, himself. Soon after that, as CTV News reported, a woman conceived at the same clinic learned that she was genetically related to Barwin. A DNA test confirmed that Rebecca and the woman were half-sisters, and their father was Dr. Barwin. Apparently, Barwin's role as a sperm donor to his own medical practice was kept secret from both sets of parents.

The Dixon family is now suing Dr. Barwin for negligence and breach of trust. The lawsuit requests that Barwin turn over a DNA sample, to determine if any other children conceived at his clinic are his offspring, and to notify them accordingly.

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1 Response:

 
AWOL
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said this on
24 Nov 2016 9:56:25 PM PDT
Wow. The Dr. Barwin article was a real life genetic suspense article. Had me scrolling through the article at a rate of speed- Mr. Adams. I always enjoy your work. This was a true genetic suspense article, knowing the genetic inconsistencies suspecting the Dr. I the reader yelling oh no, no way at the screen, then the answer resolved as the reader me- suspected. An awful violation of ethics and humanity in medical/science field. Just terrible the patients should have been told and agreed to the terms prior to in vitro. The Dr. apparently knew his personal success rate but his ethics are abominable. Well Rebecca was meant to be, her relatives will grow (I am sure there are more as the lawsuit will force to be revealed). Perhaps Dr. Barwin will find another profession as his license to practice will be expiring soon. Maybe the family in the fortune of this bizarre misfortune will use the DNA to help the celiac community.




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I went into menopause at age 42. I didn't know I had celiac until I was 56. Now I know why my menopause was so early.

Have been dealing with splinter hemorrhages on three of my toe nails since February. I did go to my doctor who rightly so did a very complete blood work-up ruling out other diseases such as lupus and RA and referred me to several other doctors to make sure that it was not cancer, endocarditis, or something serious. I went to the doctors. I have done some research on vitamin deficiency and it seems that some link splinter hemorrhages to vitamin C deficiency. For the past 2 1/2 weeks I have been eating 3 clementines a day (in addition to the usual multivitamin that I take) and it seems to be helping the splinter hemorrhages. One has grown out and not returned. Visited my GI doctor today and talked about malabsorption of nutrients as a potential issue. We are doing more blood work and checking nutrient levels. I have to believe it has something to do with the celiac. Sorry I don't have a better answer, but like you am trying to figure this out. Please let me know if you find any answers, and yes, be sure to check with your doctor to rule out anything serious.

You only need one positive on the celiac panel. I tested positive only to the DGP IgA and had a Marsh Stage IIIB intestinal damage. Good luck!

Welcome to the forum. First, you need to get copies of your celiac test to confirm you actually had it done and what the results were. Second, to confirm a diagnosis, you must obtain biopsies via an endoscopy. Were the doctors gastroenterologists? Third you need to research celiac disease. Yes, you can be asymptomatic, but could still have instestinal damage as the small intestine is vast. here is a good place to start: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ You might think you are a silent celiac, but ever been anemic? Had your bones checked?

That's good to know about Texas Children's, unfortunately I don't believe they accept our insurance. Our former pediatrician joined with one of their medical groups and we had to find a new one due to insurance. I'll check out their site though.