What Happens When Reproductive Tech Like IVF Goes Awry?

July 18, 2019

(Wired) – Accidents happen: Freezers fail. Samples are mislabeled. Embryos get switched. These may be first-world problems. But they’re not innocent, or harmless. We have no idea precisely how often such mishaps happen. A 2008 survey of US fertility clinics found that more than one in five misdiagnosed, mislabeled, or mishandled reproductive materials. States require hospitals to report any surgery mistakenly performed on the wrong body part or patient, but no one tracks these errors in family planning services. Most embryo swaps probably go unnoticed. No one tests for genetic connection between newborns and birth parents unless a racial mismatch gives them reason to. All we know for sure is these mix-ups have happened before—and there still aren’t any rules or constraints to keep them from occurring again.