Fertility clinic specialist Michael Kamrava, better known as the Octomom doctor who implanted six embryos in Nadya Suleman, must defend his license amidst allegations of gross negligence. Was the IVF doctor really negligent, or is there something else at play?
Octomom Doctor “Grossly Negligent?”
CNN reports that IVF doctor Michael Kamrava has to attend a hearing that may decide the fate of his license to practice at a fertility clinic. The doctor implanted six embryos in the then-33-year-old Nadya Suleman, a single mother of six children, who would proceed to give birth to octuplets (two embryos split and created identical twins), which eventually earned her the name “Octomom.”
California’s medical board suggests that Kamrava was negligent by not referring Suleman to a mental health provider due to her pattern of seeking out IVF treatments. Another problem the Octomom doctor faces is the implantation of six embryos, when guidelines stipulate that no more than two should be used for women under the age of 35.
The scheduled hearing comes almost a year to the date after the IVF doctor was ejected from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, as reported back in 2009 by USA Today.
Negligent or Compliant with Patient Wishes?
In an October 2009 interview, Suleman explained to CNN (with respect to her embryos) that she “wanted them all transferred.” She stated: “Those are my children. And that’s what was available and I used them. I took a risk. It’s a gamble. It always is.”
The American Bar Association appears to concur with Suleman’s suggestion of ownership. In light of contradictory court rulings, the ABA sides with the gamete providers (a fancy term for the individuals who provide the biological raw material to make embryos), and explains that notwithstanding their classification as children, body parts or simply personal property, “there are no compelling reasons to override the decisional authority of the gamete providers.”
Perhaps Kamrava was just following the directions of his patients, which would normally be considered laudable, could it not put children and the would-be mother at such a grave risk of long-term injury or worse. While the Octomom doctor faces the hearing that may determine his future as an IVF provider, the public continues to scrutinize the results of his handiwork via the various avenues of access that Suleman sells to the highest bidders.
CNN: “Doctor faces license hearing over octuplets case”
USA Today: “‘Octomom’ doctor expelled from fertility group”
CNN: “Medical society boots doctor who did IVF in Suleman octuplets case”
American Bar Association: “Who Owns Your Frozen Embryo?”