Have you ever imagined giving birth to a designer baby? Well, meet a trio whose business it is to build, nay, make your baby to specification and it indeed has placed them among the richest medical practitioners in London. Ian Craft, Simon Fishel and Mohammed Taranissi are three fertility doctors who through unorthodox ways have helped thousands of childless British couples become proud fathers and mothers.
Taranissi, a 53 year old Egyptian runs Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre, a private clinic on Wimpole Street, London. He is estimated to be worth over £20 million, making him the wealthiest of the trio. Julie and Joe, a couple, spent about £10,000 in their attempt to have a child with bone narrow that perfectly matched that of their ill son, Joshua, in Taranissi's clinic. The fertility expert won a court case ruling not long ago allowing him to treat a couple from Leeds who wanted a child with the same tissue type as their sick son. Also in 2004, he won another ruling to create Britain's first "designer baby girl". Taranissi's latest venture is to import stem cells from abroad in a bid to overrun strict laws governing embryo research.
Craft, 68, a professor of medicine, on his part, is interested in treating older women who still want to have children. He is reputed for helping 60 year old Liz Buttle become a joyful mother, making her Britain's oldest mother. In his view, age should not be a barrier to women receiving fertility treatment. In the past seven years, the scientist has earned more than £9 million in fees and pension payment from his London fertility Centre in Harley Street and holds directorship of a dozen other companies.
Fishel runs Centre for Assisted Reproduction, CARE. The fertility clinic has in the past three years jerked up their profits to £1.9 million per annum. As a major shareholder and managing director, Fishel was paid dividends of £160,000 in a year alone. He has established his name as a leading expert in his field who treated patients with different infertility cases. He helped Raj and Shahana Hashmi, a couple who fought a long battle to create a baby with the same tissue type as their sick son, Zain, born with a rare genetic blood disorder.
In London, an estimated one in six couples now experience difficulties in conceiving, thereby increasing the huge profits and patronage enjoyed by fertility doctors in the last one decade. Health experts say that the growth in private treatment demonstrates that the National Health Scheme is still providing inadequate and inefficient treatment for patients, which has led many desperate couples, especially those with slim chances of getting pregnant, to seek for unorthodox solution.