Gynae arrested for suspected egg harvesting
AN ITALIAN gynaecologist best known for helping women in their 60s to have babies has been arrested on suspicion of removing eggs from a patient without her consent.
Severino Antinori, 70, was arrested at Rome's airport on Friday following a complaint filed by a 24-year-old Spanish woman who was being treated for an ovarian cyst at a Milan clinic run by the specialist, police and lawyers involved in the case told the AGI news agency.
Antinori has had his licence to practise gynaecology provisionally suspended for a year and been placed under house arrest in Rome, the agency reported.
The alleged victim was a Spanish national with nursing qualifications who had recently begun working at the clinic.
Prosecutors allege that Antinori set up the job interview and subsequently diagnosed the ovarian cyst with the sole intention of harvesting her eggs without her knowledge.
The woman said she had her mobile phone taken off her before being forcibly immobilised, placed under anaesthetic and operated on without her consent. She called emergency services from a payphone in the clinic after she came round.
Prosecutors are also working on the hypothesis that this may not be an isolated case.
"The arrest... indicates the existence of a market in eggs that will not stop at anything," said Donata Lenzi, an Italian lawmaker.
Antinori became famous worldwide in 1994 when his fertility treatment led to Italian Rossana Della Corte giving birth to a son at 63.
He was also involved in the treatment of Patricia Rashbrook, who became Britain's oldest mother when she had a boy in 2006.