The Texas Medical Board has decided to re-open an investigation into a fertility doctor who inseminated a woman with his own sperm rather than the sperm his patient selected.
In an email on Wednesday, the board said it may investigate issues that include “unprofessional and unethical conduct.”
The case involves Eve Wiley, 32, who only recently discovered her biological father was her mother’s fertility doctor.
Wiley’s mother, 65-year-old Margo Williams, had sought help from Dr. Kim McMorries because her husband was infertile.
McMorries didn't return WFAA calls or an email for comment. Wiley said he admitted to being her biological father.
WFAA reported Monday that the board had declined to investigate the Nacogdoches fertility doctor. The board claimed to have conducted “a thorough review,” but said the actions did not “fall below the acceptable standard of care.”
The board also said it was hamstrung when investigating “standard of care issues” because it may not review such complaints more than seven years past the medical treatment.
However, in Wednesday’s follow-up response, the board issued an apology to Dr. Jody Madeira, who filed the complaint.
“We apologize for any confusion and frustration caused” by the earlier letter, the board told Madeira. The email said the board recently accepted a disciplinary review committee’s recommendation to “re-open and continue investigation” of the complaint.
Madeira, a law professor at Indiana University, told WFAA she filed the complaint after learning about the controversy involving McMorries.
“It really seemed that Dr. McMorries was escaping any kind of accountability whatsoever,” Madeira told WFAA.
“This was an option, one possible thing to make sure that this doctor was held accountable for his actions,” Madeira said.
Wiley told WFAA that the board’s letter Wednesday seemed like an attempt to “save face.”
She told WFAA that their initial decision not to take action was “a slap in the face.”
“I think it is really frustrating – my mother being a victim and me being the product of that, that they do not take something and consider something like this very seriously,” Wiley said.
Wiley only learned that McMorries was her biological father after taking consumer DNA tests in 2017 and 2018. She told WFAA she recently learned she has a half-sister and two half-brothers who were also allegedly fathered by McMorries.
Wiley has been instrumental in getting the laws changed. Texas lawmakers have now made the unauthorized insemination of a patient a crime.
Lawmakers said they were troubled by the board’s initial response and said they may push to change the laws.
Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, the House sponsor of the law that passed unanimously, called the board’s initial response “maddening.”
“I think the board has gotten heat,” Klick told WFAA. “I visited with the governor’s staff and said I believe there were ethical boundaries crossed.”
“Is the practice still continuing today?” Klick said. “You have to investigate to know.”
She said she hopes Texas lawmakers eliminate any loopholes that may hinder the Texas Medical Board from investigating future complaints.
Other Texas lawmakers like Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, said the Board's response highlights a lack of governmental oversite.
“It would be shocking if I wasn't so familiar with what they have done in the past,” Zedler told WFAA “…This this may be the thing that finally drives the nail to have something done about the Medical Board.”
Zedler said the board’s guidelines limiting investigations to only go back seven years was enacted to prevent doctors from having to hold on to paper records indefinitely.
“Forget the paperwork,” Zedler said. “The board could have acted here because there is irrefutable evidence of what the doctor did. And that evidence is Eve Wiley herself.”