A former Tucson OB-GYN is facing accusations of negligence, fraud, infliction of emotional distress, and medical battery, among others, after it was revealed he had been deceiving his patients for years. Recent developments have shaken one American family to its core. Now, they’re suing their former doctor in civil court after they trusted him to give them a family. It’s a shocking story of abuse that’s likely to keep some parents up at night wondering if the same thing could happen to them.
A Shocking Family Revelation
Kristen Finlayson was horrified to discover that she was the product of artificial insemination after taking a DNA test last Christmas. She found out that she’s not actually related to the man she thought was her father. Not only that, but the DNA kit also revealed she was zero percent Hispanic, which completely upended her sense of identity. She confronted her parents, Debra Guilmette and her husband Phil Salgado, who confirmed that they had trouble conceiving nearly thirty years ago.
Back then, the couple sought help from Debra’s OB-GYN, Doctor Blute III, then the Head of Obstetrics at Tucson Medical Center. At the time, Dr. Blute III recommended artificial insemination, and the couple agreed as long as the doctor used a donor with Hispanic DNA, so the baby would look like Phil.
The procedure turned out to be a major success. In 1983, Phil and Debra welcomed their first child into the world, their son Aaron. Just two years later, Kristen Finlayson was born. The couple couldn’t have been happier.
Now, over thirty years later, the family is coming to terms with the truth.
After looking at the birth certificate, the family discovered that Kristen Finlayson is actually the daughter of Dr. Charles Blute III, the man who delivered her into the world. The family’s son Aaron also took a DNA test to discover that he is related to Dr. Blute III as well.
The family now alleges the OB-GYN used his own sperm to artificially inseminate Debra Guilmette back in the 1980s when she was under his care.
Going to Court
While the act is not considered a crime in the state of Arizona, Debra and her daughter Kristen are suing Dr. Blute III and the Tucson Medical Center in civil court. Dev Sethi, the Tucson attorney representing both women, calls the case “a shameful betrayal of a doctor-patient relationship.”
The women have been trying to trace the accused doctor’s footsteps ever since. So far, several women have come forward saying they were victims of fraud and abuse as well.
“Seven half-siblings so far, and those are just the ones who have had DNA tests,” Kristen said, after receiving DNA kits from women that confirm they are also related to Dr. Blute III.
Public records show that Dr. Blute III left the Tucson area back in 2004, but his medical license remains active in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and New York. He previously served as the Medical Director and Chair for the Clinical Quality of Care of UnitedHealthcare in Syracuse, New York, but the facility says, “Dr. James Blute is no longer employed with UnitedHealthcare. His role during his employment with us was purely administrative and did not involve patient care.”
“He needs to lose his license,” said Kristen, while her mother added, “He needs to be embarrassed.”
The women sent a letter to the Arizona Medical Board, asking the group to revoke his license. However, the board will only take action if the suit results in a financial settlement paid on the doctor’s behalf. It reads, “The existence of a lawsuit being filed does not have to be reported. We will file this notification for tracking purposes only.”
Debra and Kristen would also like to see Dr. Blute III held criminally responsible for his actions. As Kristen told a local news outlet, “I think I feel my mom was completely and sexually violated.”
It’s unclear where the lawsuit will go from here, but so far, the doctor has yet to officially respond to the case. Legal records show that similar lawsuits have been filed against Dr. Blute III in Pima County, Arizona.
If these allegations are true, hopefully Dr. Blute III will soon have to answer for his actions by responding to the women that he wronged so many years ago.