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Medical board accuses 'octomum' doctor of negligence

10 January 2010
Appeared in BioNews 540

A disciplinary complaint has been filed by the California State Medical Board against Dr Micheal Kamrava, the fertility doctor who controversially assisted Nadya Suleman to give birth to octuplets in January 2009. Barbara Johnston, the executive director of the board, filed the complaint, which accuses Dr Kamrava of negligence and violation of professional guidelines. No date has yet been set for the hearing which could potential result in Dr Kamrava's licence being revoked or suspended.

Dr Kamvara is accused of implanting an excessive number of embryos into Ms Suleman, breaching set guidelines. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines call for transferring only one or two embryos to patients younger than age 35 to lower the risk of multiple births. Babies of multiple births are often born prematurely which puts them a higher risk of long-term health problems. Ms Suleman's octuplets were born nine and a half weeks early.

The complaint does not specify how many embryos were transferred in Ms Suleman's pregnancy. However it is reported that Dr Kamrava transferred six embryos into Suleman's uterus in July 2008, and it is believed that two of those embryos split into identical twins, leading to the birth of eight infants.

The office of Attorney General Edmund G Brown says that Dr Kamrava transferred 'a number of blastocyst embryos far in excess of ASRM recommendation and beyond the reasonable judgment of any treating physician.'

Dr Kamvara is also accused of using fresh eggs when frozen eggs were available and failing to refer Ms Suleman to a mental health evaluation after she repeatedly sought fertility treatment. He had treated her for 11 years which resulted in a total of fourteen births through IVF.

Furthermore, the complaint accuses Dr Kamrava of using too much of a hormone during Ms Suleman's IVF procedure, lax record keeping and 'failure to recognise that [Ms Suleman's] behaviour was outside the norm and that her conduct was placing her offspring at risk for potential harm.' The board added that Dr Kamrava 'failed to exercise appropriate judgment and question whether there would be harm to her living children and any future offspring should she continue to conceive.'

His attorney Peter Osinoff said that fertility patients are not typically screened for mental health problems 'unless there is overt evidence of pathology', adding: 'There was not overt evidence of pathology, that will be our argument.' He further stated his client wanted to continue practising medicine. The ASRM expelled Dr Kamrava in September, but his medical licence was not affected, allowing him to continue treating patients.

California Board Accuses Octuplet Fertility Doctor Of Misconduct
Medical News Today |  7 January 2010
Nadya Suleman octuplets doctor Michael Kamrava accused of negligence
The Times |  5 January 2010
Octomom Defends Accused Fertility Doctor
Time |  5 January 2010
Octomom's Doctor Accused of Negligence; License May Be Revoked
Us Weekly |  4 January 2010
Octuplet mom's doctor accused of negligence
CNN |  4 January 2010
State Board Accuses Octuplet Doctor of Negligence
The New York TImes |  4 January 2010
14 February 2011 - by MacKenna Roberts 
'Octomum' fertility doctor, Dr Michael Kamrava, could still be struck off despite a judge's recommendation to the contrary, according to a decision made by the Medical Board of California, the state's medical licensing body....
31 January 2011 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
A US judge has recommended that Dr Michael Kamrava, a Beverly Hills fertility doctor responsible for providing IVF to 'Octomum' Ms Nadya Suleman, should be allowed to continue practising as a doctor....
25 October 2010 - by Julianna Photopoulos 
US fertility doctor Dr Michael Kamrava implanted a total of 12 embryos into 'Octomum' Nadya Suleman, a licensing hearing is told....
19 July 2010 - by Louise Mallon 
The fertility doctor who helped 'Octomum' Nayda Suleman conceive octuplets transferred seven embryos to another woman, according to the Medical Board of California...
14 November 2009 - by Jenny Dunlop 
Channel 4, 12 November 2009...
20 October 2009 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
The US fertility doctor responsible for transplanting six embryos into a woman who gave birth to octuplets last January has been struck off by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) - although he is still able to practice as membership of the professional society is only voluntary....
9 March 2009 - by MacKenna Roberts 
Public outrage over the IVF-conceived octuplets born in January to Nadya Suleman in California has led US legislators in Missouri and Georgia to propose laws that would limit the number of embryos a woman may have implanted when receiving a single fertility treatment. Georgia Senator Ralph Hudgens...
16 February 2009 - by MacKenna Roberts 
The decision to implant six embryos into Nadya Suleman leading to the birth of octuplets has attracted international opprobrium. The 33-year-old unemployed single mother already had six children conceived after IVF with the same fertility doctor; all aged below eight, including two-year-old twins and an autistic...
1 February 2009 - by MacKenna Roberts 
Last Monday, eight babies - six boys and two girls - were born to a woman, whose identity has not been released, in Southern California at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Centre. The babies were delivered by a team of 46 attending professionals within a span of five minutes by...
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