A woman in Toronto claims that she lost her baby when her boyfriend, the father, cheated on her with the fertility clinic nurse who guided the couple through in vitro fertilization. Now Po Leung, 44, says she had put her career on hold to have the baby and is suing the clinic, its director and the allegedly amorous nurse for $400,000.
Leung began her romantic relationship with Stuart Wescott in 2006. Three of her relatives had recently died and Wescott was their funeral director. At the time, Leung says, she was smitten by Wescott’s ability to “put people at ease” and “garner trust.” But on May 25, 2010, one day after learning she had become pregnant, Wescott abruptly announced that he was leaving her.
The reason? Wendy Shanks, the nurse at Markham Fertility Center who treated the couple for several years as they attempted to conceive.
Leung’s lawsuit charges that Shanks “abused her position of power, trust and influence as her medical care provider” in order to gain a sexual relationship with Wescott.
The suit alleges that Shanks knew that her behavior would cause psychological damage to Leung, who claims that she was so traumatized she suffered a miscarriage. Leung also charges that the clinic’s director, Colette Pyselman, took no disciplinary action against Shanks. Pyselman’s indifference contributed to Leung’s mental trauma, the lawsuit said.
“That’s what really hurt me the most — that my health care professionals, a nurse and a doctor, had so profoundly betrayed me while I was at my most vulnerable,” Leung told the Toronto Sun.
While the lawsuit seems worthy of an afternoon soap, according to Leung’s lawyer it could have serious implications for the laws regulating fertility clinics in Canada, which because of the “personal and intimate” nature of the services they provide could be held to a higher standard than other medical facilities.