July 2, 2022

Licence revoked of doctor who treated “OctoMom”

The IVF doctor who treated OctoMom, the California woman who gave birth to live octuplets in January 2009, has been deregistered.

The IVF doctor who treated OctoMom, the
California woman who gave birth to live octuplets in January 2009, has been
deregistered. The California medical
board said that Michael Kamrava “did not exercise sound judgment”
when he transferred 7 embryos into Nadya Suleman’s womb. (One of the embryos
twinned during the pregnancy.)

But the severity of the decision was not due only to this
procedure. The Board also cited two other cases in which he was grossly
negligently. “This is not a one-patient case or a two-patient case; it is
a three-patient case,” the board said. “Public protection is
paramount.” Gross negligence — the “want of even scant care or an
extreme departure from the ordinary standard of conduct” —  is a rare finding amongst California’s
122,000 doctors. There were only 9 in the last fiscal year.

One feature of Dr Kamrava’s treament which troubled the board was his assumption
that his patients would “reduce” their pregnancies if there were too many
foetuses.  It said that his
patients trusted him “to create
life and carry it into the world.” Foetal reduction would have created
risks, “including the loss of all pregnancy”. Dr Kamrava contended
that his patients bore some responsibility for problems arising from multiple
births if they agreed to a “foetal reduction” and then reneged.

“To assign even a
scintilla of responsibility to a patient who becomes pregnant and then elects
not to follow through with a procedure that may jeopardize her (and possibly
her family’s) prized objective is troubling and telling,” the board said.

In some ways, Dr
Kamrava seems hard done by. Even the board acknowledged that he was a respected
and competent professional. The most famous IVF doctor in the state, Dr Jeffrey
Steinberg, told the board that it was “extraordinarily unusual” for patients to
refuse to go through with foetal reduction. In 2007 the American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists declared, in an official note, that foetal reduction was a
difficult and risky decision, but not necessarily unethical. In fact, it seems
to be an integral feature of IVF. ~ Los Angeles Times, June 2

Michael Cook
fetal reduction
IVF
Michael Kamrava
Nadya Suleman