Vermont Doctor Who Used His Sperm to Impregnate 2 Women Loses License Decades Later
Both women reported Dr. John Coates III to the Vermont Board of Medical Practice.
A retired Vermont doctor had his license permanently revoked decades after he artificially inseminated two women. Dr. John Coates III lost his license after an order was signed by the Vermont Board of Medical Practice. In the 1970s, Coates reportedly inseminated two different women and is now facing lawsuits, CBS News reported.
A Florida couple, Cheryl Rousseau and Peter Rousseau, sued Coates in the U.S. District Court 2018, accusing Coates, a gynecology and obstetrics doctor, of using his sperm in an artificial insemination procedure in 1977 and said the daughter that was born as a result is his. They claimed they signed a contract to inseminate Cheryl with donated sperm from a donor that resembled her husband, CBS News reported.
In 2020, another woman from Colorado sued him, saying that he inseminated her with his own genetic material in 1978 in a Central Vermont hospital after claiming the sperm was also donated from an unnamed medical student, CBS News reported.
"This could not have been done accidentally," said Jerry O'Neill, the lawyer for the Rousseau family, per CBS News.
Both women reported their situations to the Vermont Board of Medical Practice. The board asked Coates to undergo genetic testing to disprove the claims in Cheryl’s case, but he refused to do so.
He told the board the following:
"While I have no present memory of ever having used my own genetic material to artificially inseminate a female patient, genetic testing has confirmed that I was the sperm donor for the pregnancy that resulted in the birth of (the daughter of Patient 1)," according to the board. "I have no knowledge of, or reason to suspect the existence of any other occasion where I used my own sperm in the performance of an artificial insemination procedure."
He also admitted to inseminating the second woman once she filed a complaint with the board. Coates must now pay a $4,000 administrative penalty.
Coates’ attorney, Peter Joslin, stated in a letter to the board that Coates is surrendering his medical license permanently.
"Dr. Coates retired from medical practice in 2008. He is now 80 years old. He is giving up his medical license permanently. The events that are at issue occurred more than forty years ago. Dr. Coates regrets the circumstances giving rise to the charges,” Joslin wrote.
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