Octuplet mother's doctor accused of negligence

The Beverly Hills fertility doctor who Nadya Suleman claimed helped her conceive her 14 children was formally accused by medical chiefs of negligence and violation of professional guidelines.

The Beverly Hills fertility doctor who Nadya Suleman claimed helped her conceive her 14 children was formally accused by medical chiefs of negligence and violation of professional guidelines.

The California Medical Board said Michael Kamrava acted "beyond the reasonable judgment of any treating physician" by repeatedly providing fertility treatment to a woman identified in the complaint only by the initials "NS."

Ms Suleman has previously identified Dr Kamrava as her doctor. The document says his patient became pregnant with octuplets.

Ms Suleman gave birth to the world's longest-living set of octuplets on January 26 last year. She already had six other children.

Dr Kamrava is accused of gross negligence in three instances: transferring too many embryos, repeatedly transferring fresh embryos when frozen ones were available, and failing to refer Ms Suleman for a mental health evaluation.

He is also accused of giving Ms Suleman too much of a hormone while stimulating in vitro fertilisation, poor record keeping and "failure to recognise that NS's behaviour was outside the norm and that her conduct was placing her offspring at risk for potential harm".

Calls to Dr Kamrava's office were not returned, but his lawyer Peter Osinoff said fertility patients were not typically screened for mental health problems "unless there is overt evidence of pathology, and there was not overt evidence of pathology, that will be our argument".

He added that Dr Kamrava wanted to continue practicing medicine.

Dr Richard Paulson, who heads the fertility programme at the University of Southern California, said it sounded like Dr Kamrava did nothing "to prevent this disaster".

"An octuplet pregnancy, in my opinion, is a disaster," said Dr Paulson, who has no role in the case.

Ms Suleman has said she underwent the IVF treatment that bore octuplets because she did not want her frozen embryos to go to waste. But the complaint said Dr Kamrava never used frozen embryos in her pregnancies and his lawyer said Ms Suleman requested fresh embryos be used to improve chances of success.

The document reveals Ms Suleman underwent a long series of fertility treatments from 1997 to 2008 under Dr Kamrava's care.

She first went to Kamrava's Beverly Hills office at age 21 and underwent artificial insemination using donor sperm. She failed to get pregnant twice using that method.

In 1999, she consulted with Dr Kamrava about IVF and underwent a similar procedure, but it led to an ectopic pregnancy. She began hormone therapy in 2000, commonly done before IVF to improve the chances of harvesting a healthy, viable egg. Her first child was born in 2001.

Over the next several years, she repeatedly returned to Dr Kamrava for IVF treatment, usually several months after giving birth, and would freeze the unused eggs.

Dr Kamrava had access to frozen eggs but failed to implant them or recommend that Ms Suleman use them, putting her health at increased risk, the complaint said.

The medical board also said 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".

Dr Kamrava continues to advertise his services in Los Angeles' large Iranian expatriate community. For the past nine years, he has paid for air time on Los Angeles' Iranian radio station, KIRN 670AM, where he hosts a live, weekly call-in show.

He tells listeners he is the inventor of a method that improves chances of pregnancy by using a hysteroscopy to guide the fertilised egg to the uterine lining and adhering it with an "embryo glue".

On a show last year, he said the process allowed an embryo to be implanted "precisely each time instead of dropping an embryo blindly into a uterus and hoping it will take, and praying to God it's in the best place".

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

Execution Time: 0.236 s