Doctor accused of stealing woman’s egg

A very strange story in The Guardian about an Italian fertility specialist who has been accused of stealing the egg of a nurse who worked at one of this clinics.  Severino Antinori was arrested after the nurse told the police that she was meant to be treated for an ovarian cyst but that an egg was taken without her consent.

Antinori has been a controversial figure for decades. Back in the 90s, he hit the headlines when he treated a 63 year old woman from Romania, Rossana Della Corte, who became one of the oldest women to give birth. Then in 2006, Patricia Rashbrook, a 62 year old from the UK, got pregnant after treatment at his clinic. He is also renowned for his interest in human cloning.

When I still worked in television, I once went to film at Antinori’s clinic in Rome for a news item about Italy’s birth rate. It was an intriguing set-up as I remember there was no one there when we arrived and then all the patients turned up at the clinic at same time along with Antinori and his wife…

With the current controversy, Antinori denies the woman’s claims and is apparently suggesting the allegations were part of an extortion attempt and have made him very ill. Whatever the truth of the matter, it is clear that even now in his seventies, he is still no stranger to controversy.