Severino Antinori was arrested at Rome’s Fiumicino airport following a complaint filed by a 24-year-old Spanish woman who was being treated for an ovarian cyst at Milan clinic run by the specialist. Antinori has had his licence to practice gynaecology provisionally suspended for a year and has been placed under house arrest in Rome on charges of aggravated robbery and causing personal injury.
The alleged victim was a Spanish national with a nursing qualification who had recently begun working at the clinic. Antinori had met the woman by chance, set up the job interview and subsequently diagnosed the ovarian cyst with the sole intention of harvesting her eggs without her knowledge.
The woman says she had her mobile phone taken off her before being forcibly immobilized, placed under anaesthetic and operated on without her consent. She believed she was only going to be treated by injection for the cyst, according to her lawyer.
The investigation was triggered by the woman calling emergency services from a payphone in the clinic after she came round from the surgery. Antinori’s lawyers described the charges against their client as ‘absurd’.
“The arrest of Severino Antinori is extremely serious because it indicates the existence of a market in eggs that will not stop at anything”, said Donata Lenzi, an Italian lawmaker from Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party.