Couple: Fertility Clinic's Mistake Doomed Our Baby

Jason and Melissa Diaz's son has dangerous hereditary gene
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2023 1:30 AM CST
Couple Says Fertility Clinic Transferred Embryo With Deadly Gene
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / Diego Cerro Jimenez)

Jason and Melissa Diaz chose to start a family using in vitro fertilization for a very specific, and very important, reason: to have genetic testing done and make sure Jason didn't pass along a deadly gene that caused him to develop a rare type of cancer that forced him to have his stomach removed in 2018. In a lawsuit against their fertility clinic, the couple says that rather than protecting their baby from that fate, the clinic transferred an embryo with the dangerous hereditary gene, the Los Angeles Times reports. The California couple's first child was born healthy in 2021, and it wasn't until they decided to try for a second child last summer that they discovered what had happened, CNN reports.

When they returned to Huntington Reproductive Center Fertility in Pasadena to start the process of another IVF transfer, they were given a form showing that the embryo transferred when Melissa Diaz became pregnant with the couple's son did have the deadly gene, which causes diffuse gastric cancer, according to the lawsuit. When brought to the center's attention, the couple alleges, they were given a second form with that same information omitted. They are now suing for fraudulent concealment and are separately arbitrating a claim alleging the wrong embryo was transferred.

The lawsuit states that the Diazes' son "will develop stomach cancer, require a total stomach-removal surgery, or both." Says Jason Diaz, who was 32 when he was diagnosed with the rare cancer, "Because of their error, our greatest fear has become our reality. I know the pain of this cancer personally. And I know through watching other family members suffer and eventually die from it. I wouldn’t want anyone on Earth to experience this type of pain and now I will be forced to watch my own son—my own flesh and blood—go through this." (More in vitro fertilization stories.)

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