Dr. Morris Wortman, the local obstetrician-gynecologist accused of fertility fraud, has lost the privilege of practicing at Strong and Highland hospitals.
Practically, the loss of privileges will make little difference for Wortman; he has not practiced there in five years.
“He has not treated patients at Strong or Highland since 2017, and also has not participated in teaching residents or medical students since that time,” Chip Partner, the spokesman for the University of Rochester Medical Center, or URMC, said in an email.
“Dr. Wortman’s voluntary faculty appointment ended June 30, and he no longer has privileges to treat patients at Strong Memorial or Highland hospitals,” according to Partner. “He is able to refer patients who need inpatient care to Highland and discuss their course of treatment with the physicians there.”
Wortman is accused of secretively fathering children as a fertility specialist by using his own sperm for insemination while claiming it was the sperm of others.
In a lawsuit, a Geneseo woman alleges that she is Wortman’s daughter and that her mother was told the sperm was from a medical student. Wortman was the OB-GYN for Morgan Hellquist, the woman who is suing him, and she alleges he committed medical malpractice by treating her.
Hellquist’s mother was a fertility patient of Wortman’s and Morgan Hellquist alleges in the lawsuit that she learned through DNA tests that she is his biological daughter. Others have also made similar claims, saying they made the same discoveries through genetic testing.
The Democrat and Chronicle is attempting to reach Wortman for comment. He has not responded to past requests for comment about the allegations against him.
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URMC officials declined to say whether the allegations against Wortman were the impetus for the decision to halt his privileges. There can be other reasons for such a decision, such as the fact that an individual has not exercised the privileges for some time.
There was an effort in the past state legislative session to enact criminal and civil penalties for fertility fraud. In the Rochester region alone, Wortman is one of three men suspected of lying about the source of sperm for insemination. Wortman is the only one still practicing; one is now deceased.
New York lawmakers were unable to pass legislation during the session, while other states have done so.
Contact Gary Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at gcraig1.