Belgium hospital fined after IVF sibling mix-up

A Belgium hospital has been ordered to pay compensation to a couple after they ended up with three children via IVF treatment owing to a mistake at its fertility clinic

The case involved a Spanish couple who had their first child born with a rare genetic condition, beta thalassaemia. A bone marrow transplant is a known potential solution to help oxygen travel to organs in the body, one of the symptoms of the disorder.

The couple decided to have IVF treatment to have a second child to help act as a donor to the first child and sought treatment in Belgium.

Doctors at the fertility clinic they chose developed three healthy embryos, with one being suitable as a donor. But the clinic transferred the wrong embryo and the woman became pregnant with twins girls. Neither girl was a suitable donor for their first child.

The couple had a fourth child with the support of a clinic in Madrid, a boy, who was a suitable donor, in 2018.

According to the Guardian, the bone marrow transplant took place in 2020.

The couple is said to have lodged a lawsuit with the Belgium courts, with the judge awarding just over £32,000 to the mother and father of the children for ‘the shock they suffered after learning that the twins were not suitable donors, and for the ‘anxiety and risks generated by the fourth pregnancy’.

They also awarded the oldest child £5,000 for the delay in treatment and a further £25,000 to cover the ‘impoverishment’



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