Octomom's fertility doc to testify, defend license

AP News
Posted: Oct 20, 2010 3:47 AM
Octomom's fertility doc to testify, defend license

The fertility doctor whose in vitro treatments gave the world "Octomom" is expected to defend his methods as he fights to keep his license to practice medicine in a hearing Wednesday.

Dr. Michael Kamrava has largely dodged the spotlight since his limelight-hungry patient Nadya Suleman gave birth to octuplets in Jan. 2009. But Kamrava hasn't evaded the notice of the Medical Board of California.

The state licensing agency alleges that Kamrava was negligent in the treatment of Suleman and two other patients, and is seeking to revoke or suspend his license.

In hearings this week, an expert witness for the state testified that, according to Suleman's medical records, Kamrava implanted 12 embryos in her womb, far in excess of national guidelines which recommend no more than two embryos for a woman her age.

In a span of less than 8 years, Kamrava repeatedly performed in vitro fertilization for Suleman, implanting her with 60 fresh embryos in that period, which resulted in 14 children, including her octuplets.

There are health risks associated with crowding in a mother's uterus that could endanger the mother and result in premature birth or other ailments for the babies.

The octuplets were conceived after Kamrava implanted Suleman with 12 embryos, earning her the moniker "Octomom."

The birth was hailed by many as a miracle until details of Suleman's personal life became public, and concern grew for the safety of the octuplets and her other children. At the time the octuplets were born, Suleman had six children, which she'd borne through Kamrava's in vitro fertilization treatments.

Before the octuplets were born, unemployed and divorced Suleman and her six children lived with her mother, relying on food stamps, school loans and disability payments for her two autistic children to get by.

More recently, Suleman has tried to make a living by selling pictures and gossip items about herself to the tabloid media, but she struggles to pay rent and is facing a $450,000 balloon payment on her La Habra home.

Kamrava is also accused of failing to refer Suleman for a mental health consultation when she repeatedly sought fertility treatment.