Ottawa Fertility Doctor Said to be Impregnating His Patients


Dr. Norman Barwin – Has He Crossed the Line?

A possible class-action lawsuit was filed Tuesday against Dr. Norman Barwin. The doctor worked at the Broadview Fertility Clinic located in Ottawa. The lawsuit states that Barwin used his own sperm instead of the sperm his patients requested. Although the claimant suggests there could be more pregnancies there are presently two patients involved.


Rebecca Dixon, now 26 years of age, first suspected the fraud after she found out she had Celiac disease. This is a hereditary condition that neither parent had. During the same period the girl’s mother read an article that says it was unusual for a child with brown eyes to be born to parents with blue eyes. Dixon’s next step was to visit her family doctor. A blood test and DNA test were given. Both tests resulted in confirming that her father was not related to her.

The Dixons then started researching different cases brought against Barwin’s practice. They discovered that in 2013, he had been suspended from the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons after he admitted that he had inseminated four patients with the wrong sperm. The Dixons then noticed that their daughter had a keen resemblance to the doctor.

Later in the year the Dixons asked Kathryn Palmer, a Vancouver woman, who was also conceived at Barwin’s clinic about joining the class-action suit. Palmer’s parents requested an anonymous sperm donor for their child. It was later learned, through a DNA test, that Barwin is also her father. The result is that the two young women are half-sisters. It turns out that both girls had attended the same high school although they never met each other. Palmer has not yet joined the class-action lawsuit although she says she plans to.

Fertility lawyer, Sara Cohen sees the allegations against the doctor as “incredibly sad and upsetting.”  She concluded she “can’t really imagine a worse breach of a doctors’ fiduciary duty to his patients.”