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Assisted Reproduction

Sperm-Swapping Scare at Utah Fertility Clinic

Deceased convicted felon, Thomas Lippert

It sounds like the script from a movie: a rogue medical technologist working in a clinic switching donated sperm for his own; the clinic subsequently shuts down and then the rogue medical technologist dies. Sadly it seems this course of events took place at a clinic in Utah. Convicted felon, Thomas Lippert, who died in 1999, is reported to be responsible for tampering with semen samples at the university run clinic.

The laboratory mismatch emerged when the parents of a 21 year old woman sought to trace their daughter’s genetic heritage.

Following the revelation, the University of Utah has offered free paternity testing to anyone who has used the clinic. There have been at least 17 people who have telephoned a university hotline, set up in the wake of the sperm swapping scare, concerned that their samples may have been tampered. Lippert, now deceased, worked at the clinic during the late 1980s through to the mid 1990s.


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