The Daily Telegraph

Hospital fined over IVF couple’s baby boom

- By Julian Stares in Brussels

A BELGIAN hospital has been fined nearly €70,000 for an IVF treatment that resulted in a couple having too many healthy babies.

The Spanish couple went to University Hospital in Brussels in search of a “saviour baby” for their first child, a son suffering from a genetic blood disorder.

Instead of one embryo, hospital staff impregnate­d the mother with two by mistake. The twins were born healthy, but neither was a suitable donor, leading the couple to return to Spain to repeat the procedure.

In what is understood to be the first case of its kind, compensati­on of €68,000 (£57,000) was deemed appropriat­e because of the parents’ “shock” at the treatment and the “impoverish­ment” that a fourth baby would bring.

The child was a suitable donor, and a bone marrow transplant has taken place. A Belgian judge decided upon €25,000 compensati­on for “the impoverish­ment caused by the presence of a fourth child”. The judge added €27,000 in “moral compensati­on” for the mother, €11,000 for the father and €5,000 for the elder son.

The hospital said: “The parents were compensate­d and the procedures were made even more strict to ensure that the chances of this happening again are as small as possible.”

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