Octuplet mom’s doctor faces more state scrutiny
The Medical Board of California has accused the Beverly Hills fertility doctor who treated octuplets mother Nadya Suleman of transferring too many embryos in a second woman and failing to order additional tests for a patient suffering from stage 3 ovarian cancer.
Dr. Michael Kamrava transferred seven embryos to a 48-year-old woman identified as L.C. — more than the medically recommended two embryos — causing her to become pregnant with quadruplets, the board said.
Complications forced the babies to be delivered six weeks early by cesarean section. The mother lost one fetus during the pregnancy, and another was born with “profound developmental delays,” according to a 20-page amended accusation filed June 30.
“He placed L.C. at great risk … which was confirmed by a quadruplet pregnancy that ended with catastrophic results,” the document said.
Kamrava also failed to refer the mother or her family — a husband and three adult children — for a mental health evaluation to determine her willingness to undergo multi-fetal pregnancy reduction, it said.
The high number of embryos transferred combined with an apparent lack of counseling “constitute an extreme departure from the standard of practice,” according the Medical Board accusation.
In another case in 2009, Kamrava transferred an embryo into a 42-year-old woman with a history of cancer. The woman’s ultrasound showed ovarian cysts, and cytology results came back “questionable,” according to the Medical Board documents. Kamrava failed to order additional tests or refer her to a specialist to rule out ovarian cancer, the documents said. When she sought a second opinion after failing to become pregnant, she was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer, the documents said.
The new charges come six months after the board accused Kamrava of a pattern of gross negligence that led to the birth of Nadya Suleman’s 14 children, including the world’s longest-surviving octuplets, and created a “stockpile” of unused frozen embryos that serve “no clinical purpose.”
The board has the ability to revoke Kamrava’s medical license. A hearing has been set for October.
Kamrava has repeatedly declined comment on the charges, and a call seeking comment was not immediately returned.
In his first interview since the birth of the octuplets, which aired on ABC’s “Nightline”on Tuesday night, he said that the experience has been “very traumatic and quite unexpected.”
He said that Suleman’s case “was done the right way … under the circumstances.”
In October 2009, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine expelled Kamrava, citing a pattern of behavior detrimental to the industry.
During the “Nightline” interview, Kamrava said the association has reported that 70% of fertility programs do not adhere to the group’s professional guidelines.
“So, how do you put me in the same group on the same people criticizing me?” Kamrava said. “I’m not defending. I’m saying there are certain situations that need certain attention in each case.”
But other fertility specialists said Kamrava’s conduct doesn’t reflect their industry.
“Most people understand that these are the actions of somebody who is way, way out of bounds and doesn’t represent the mainstream of fertility treatment,” said Dr. Arthur Wisot, fertility specialist with Reproductive Partners in Redondo Beach. “He has been shunned by the medical community as much as you can possibly shun somebody....He’s totally out there, flying solo.”
Times staff writer Jessica Garrison contributed to this report.
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