UC-IRVINE: Fertility Doctor Fired Over Medical Scandal
A UC-Irvine doctor "embroiled in one of the nation's most notorious medical scandals" was stripped of his tenure Wednesday, despite a faculty recommendation that he only be demoted, the Orange County Register reports. Dr. Sergio Stone was dismissed based on his 1997 conviction of nine counts of mail fraud and "alleged financial and research improprieties" in connection with his work at the now-closed UCI Center for Reproductive Health. But Stone argues that his dismal was based on a 1995 human egg-theft scandal, in which he maintains his innocence. Stone's partners, Drs. Ricardo Asch and Jose Balmaceda, were accused of "stealing the eggs and embryos of female patients and implanting them in others without their consent." Stone, asserting that his partners' "wrongdoing...tarnished him as well," said, "[Administrators] refused to treat me individually ... they continue to try to punish me for the sins and crimes of others." UCI Chancellor Ralph Cicerone suggested to UC President Richard Atkinson that Stone be dismissed, despite September's faculty hearing board recommendation that Stone be demoted (Brennan, 3/16). Defending his suggestion, Cicerone noted that Stone's conduct reflected "a pattern of deception, dishonesty and callous disregard for the rules that guide [the university's] behavior." He concluded, "We weighed the matter very carefully and I do not make my recommendation lightly but I do make it firmly" (Ristine, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.