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State Board Accuses Octo-Doc Of Negligence

Tue, 01/05/2010 - 6:00am

The Medical Board of California has accused a Beverly Hills fertility doctor of a pattern of gross negligence that led to the birth of Nadya Suleman's 14 children. The 13-page accusation paints a picture of 11 years of medical care in which Suleman returned to Kamrava's office again and again to undergo fertility treatments. Often, she would return three or four months after giving birth.

Kamrava transferred an excessive number of embryos – beyond what is considered acceptable by fertility standards – on six occasions, according to the accusation. The number of embryos Kamrava transferred in July 2008 was so outside the norm that they “should not be transferred into any woman, regardless of age,” the document said. That transfer resulted in the octuplets.

Kamrava also failed to refer the single mother for a mental health evaluation and repeatedly helped her create fresh embryos even though she already had a number of them frozen, according to the accusation. The board also alleged that Kamrava kept shoddy records and negligently provided Suleman with high doses of fertility drugs.

Kamrava was following his patient's demands, stated attorney Peter Osinoff. Osinoff said that medical guidelines on embryo transfers are guidelines only, and not law. He also said there were no standards requiring patients to be referred for mental health evaluation. “Guidelines don't necessarily apply to each individual case,” Osinoff said. “Patient history has to be taken into account. Patient desire has to be taken into account. Patient demand has to be taken into account. I can assure you that in all respects, Dr. Kamrava was attempting to comply with patient preference.”

Although the births were briefly heralded as a medical miracle, a backlash occurred almost immediately as more details were disclosed. Fertility experts criticized Kamrava for excessive embryo transfers. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine expelled him in September. And Suleman, it turned out, was a 33-year-old single, unemployed woman – and already the mother of six children conceived through in vitro fertilization. She lived with her mother, whose house was in foreclosure, and was supported, in part, by public money.

Source: Kimi Yoshino, LA Times

To see the full article, click here.

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