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'Octomum' doctor implanted 12 embryos

25 October 2010
Appeared in BioNews 581

US fertility doctor Dr Michael Kamrava implanted a total of 12 embryos into 'Octomum' Nadya Suleman, a licensing hearing is told.

Evidence put before the Medical Board of California, the state licensing body, revealed how medical records at the time indicated Dr Kamrava had transferred 12 embryos in providing IVF to Ms Suleman. On questioning, Dr Kamrava apologised saying Ms Suleman had insisted on this number and had consented to fetal reduction if it became necessary. He told the hearing he had been 'apprehensive' but had decided to go along with his patient's wishes after advising her of the risks involved.

The disclosure contradicts Ms Suleman's earlier assertions that only six embryos were implanted, two of which split leading to eight children born in January 2009.

State Deputy Attorney General Judith Alvarado told the hearing Dr Kamrava 'knew that a 12-embryo transfer was unsafe and below the standard of care'. Guidelines issued by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine specify no more than two embryos should be transferred to a healthy woman under 35.

Dr Kamrava's methods could have endangered Ms Suleman's health and the long-term health of the babies, fertility experts say. High orders of multiple births can result in long-term developmental delays in the child, cerebral palsy and various life-threatening ailments. Ms Suleman's babies were born nine weeks premature and are the world's longest-surviving set of octuplets.

Expert witness for the medical board and director of University of California, San Francisco In Vitro Fertilisation Program, Dr Victor Fujimoto, said Dr Kamrava made an 'extreme departure from standard of care by failing to refer Ms Suleman for a mental health evaluation before giving her fertility treatments'.

He added: 'I cannot imagine any colleague of mine transferring that many embryos'.

If found guilty of gross negligence in his treatment of Ms Suleman and two other patients, including a women who suffered complications during her pregnancy with quadruplets, Dr Kamrava may have his medical licence revoked. Last year he was expelled from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, but the non-profit group does not have legal authority to prevent him from practicing medicine.

The board is yet to reach a decision and the hearing is expected to last two weeks.

'Octomom' doctor faces review board
The Washington Times |  18 October 2010
'Octomom' doctor risks losing medical license
Reuters |  19 October 2010
‘Octomom’ doctor takes stand in medical hearing
Los Angeles Times |  20 October 2010
'Octomom' fertility doctor could lose licence
Daily Telegraph |  19 October 2010
'Octomom' Nadya Suleman ignored advice, her doctor testifies
Los Angeles Times |  21 October 2010
Octomom's fertility doc testifies to save license
Associated Press |  20 October 2010
'Octomom' Suleman's doctor said her health necessitated aggressive fertility treatments
Los Angeles Times |  21 October 2010
Oh, Baby: Octomom's Doctor Could Lose His License
Time |  20 October 2010
Witness testifies 'octomom' Nadya Suleman's fertility doctor improved treatment, recordkeeping
Los Angeles Times |  20 October 2010
30 May 2017 - by Dr Jane Currie 
A moving love story, but a missed opportunity to explore ethical issues in IVF...
6 June 2011 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
The US fertility doctor who helped 'octomum' Nadya Suleman give birth to a total of 14 children through repeated IVF treatments, has had his licence revoked by the Medical Board of California....
18 April 2011 - by Dr Sophie Pryor 
The authors of a new Canadian study have recommended a mandatory policy of single embryo transfer in an aim to reduce health complications arising from multiple births....
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....
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...
10 January 2010 - by Nisha Satkunarajah 
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....
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....
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