Screened Tuesday July 18 at 9.30pm
This programme is now off-air
One man, 75 children. 'The Sperminator' investigates how one fertility doctor helped dozens of women to have babies, only neglected to tell them that he was the father.
Dr Cecil Jacobson, a British-trained fertility expert, helped
numerous women in the small community of Alexandra, Virginia, in
the U.S, to have babies. Widely hailed as an expert in his field,
he had a great success rate and brought joy to many couples. 'The
Sperminator' documentary uncovers how he neglected to tell the
happy parents one crucial fact - he was the father.
Suspicions were raised as the result of a separate enquiry into him falsely telling women they were pregnant, and by the time the full extent of his deception was discovered, investigators suspected Jacobson had fathered up to 75 local children.
Jacobson had assured his patients that he could match them to sperm donors from the same backgrounds and with the same looks and intellect - even telling one Jewish patient that she could choose between Orthodox and Reform donors. But in reality, he would slip off with a test tube and provide a fresh donation himself.
Arrested and brought to trial in 1992, Jacobson was convicted of 53 counts of fraud and perjury. Unbelievably, there was no law against him using his own sperm to impregnate his own patients. While many of his victims were appalled, from prison he still protests his innocence. And remarkably, his wife has always stood by him, claiming "anyone would be lucky to have his sperm."
This revealing documentary examines Jacobson's story. A model
student, the best in his year, who pioneered amniocentesis as a
test for genetic defects in the womb, one of the most highly
respected experts on fertility. What went wrong? How did this man
turn his back on good medicine?
*Teletext Captions Page 801
How do you want your news
Choose the news you want when you want it, all in one personalised daily e-mail.
TVNZ is available on mobile phones: Text TVNZ to 8869.
See when TVNZ have added new content. You can get the latest headlines anywhere.
Enjoy TVNZ on the move - a wide range of programmes and highlights are available.