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Octuplets doctor could still lose medical license

California’s medical board Wednesday rejected a judge’s recommendation that the Beverly Hills fertility doctor who assisted Nadya Suleman in conceiving octuplets be allowed to keep his medical license.

Dr. Michael Kamrava has been accused of gross negligence and incompetence in his treatment of Suleman, 35, of La Habra, and two other female patients: a 48-year-old who suffered complications after she became pregnant with quadruplets and a 42-year-old diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer after receiving fertility treatments.

Administrative Law Judge Daniel Juarez had recommended that the medical board place Kamrava on five years’ probation rather than revoke his license. The board rejected that finding, according to an order signed by board member Shelton Duruisseau.

A panel of medical board members now plans to consider Kamrava’s case — reconsidering evidence, including transcripts and written arguments — before deciding whether to revoke his license. Both sides have 20 days to request oral arguments before the panel.

“They need more time to determine whether Dr. Kamrava is capable of practicing safe medicine,” said Dr. John Jain, a Santa Monica-based fertility specialist. “The board might decide these actions were so egregious that they warrant more discipline.”

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Jain noted that fertility specialists are not required to adhere to strict standards concerning how many embryos they implant. That lack of regulation, combined with the international notoriety of the octuplets, may account for the medical board’s decision to take a closer look at Kamrava.

“The lack of standards and the question of harm and the public scrutiny will probably lead to more thoughtful discourse before a decision is made,” Jain said.

The panel could consider the case as soon as the medical board’s next scheduled meeting May 5 in Los Angeles, according to board spokeswoman Jennifer Simoes.

The decision came weeks after Juarez’s recommendation and more than a year after medical board officials first moved to revoke Kamrava’s license.

Kamrava treated Suleman for more than a decade, helping her to conceive all 14 of her children through in vitro fertilization, including the octuplets, who were born nine weeks premature.

Juarez found that Kamrava committed gross and repeated negligence by implanting Suleman with an excessive number of embryos and that he also was negligent in his care of the two other patients.

But Juarez also found that Kamrava successfully refuted the majority of the allegations against him and was unlikely to repeat his mistakes. The judge recommended placing Kamrava on probation, which would require the doctor to complete an ethics course and to practice under supervision.

molly.hennessy-fiske@latimes.com


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