Couples with fertility problems usually consider in vitro fertilization, surrogate parents or even prescription drugs. But in Leicestershire, England, if a couple trying to have children visits their family doctor, he just might wire them up to a machine and make them have sex on a couch while he watches.
This week Dr. Peter Green ended up in Nottingham Crown Court, where he faced 19 charges of indecent assault on patients ranging from married couples to teenage boys. Although Dr. Green denies all the allegations, it's clear that he has a keen interest in monitoring sexual activity firsthand.
According to court records, one husband and wife visited Green at his Loughborough office in 1979, and Green allegedly offered to help artificially inseminate the woman himself. He also told them to have sex on the examination couch. This was apparently a form of medical help that was also offered to other couples, and Green often stayed in the room to observe, or filmed their activities through a hidden camera.
One couple having problems conceiving paid a visit to the good doctor. His treatment consisted of attaching wires from a heart machine to the woman's ankles and toes. They were then told to strip to their underwear.
"He told us to perform foreplay on each other and said the machine would test my reactions," said the woman. "He then took a swab from inside me and told my partner to have intercourse with me ... Dr. Green stood at the bottom of the bed next to the machine, watching us. It was a bit embarrassing, but we didn't know any different and we trusted our doctor."
Prosecuting attorney Peter Joyce told the court that Green had used the machine only "to give apparent medical respectability to what he was doing," and that he committed these acts "for his own perverted and deviant ends."
"People trust their doctor," continued Joyce. "They go to them with the most personal and intimate problems. Dr. Green used his position to encourage people to do embarrassing things, but they trusted him. He, in fact, got them to do things for which medically there was no justification."
The charges also included instances where Dr. Green's fertility diagnoses bordered on complete quackery. One man was told he had a low sperm count and gave up contraception. His partner became pregnant, and went on to have an abortion. Another man with a supposedly low sperm count ended up with a pregnant wife. The man assumed she had been unfaithful, and the couple ended up in divorce. In a third case, a 17-year-old boy was ordered to give a semen sample, and was told he was sterile. The boy has since gone on to father three children.
"The consequences of this doctor's actions have been disastrous for many of the people he indecently assaulted," says Joyce.
The trial is still in progress.