Octomom Fertility Doctor Faces License Hearing on Monday

October 18, 2010 - 4:31 AM

Los Angeles (AP) - The doctor who helped Nadya Suleman conceive her octuplets and six other children through in vitro fertilization faces allegations of negligence at a licensing hearing.

Dr. Michael Kamrava could have his license to practice medicine revoked or suspended as a result of Monday's Medical Board of California hearing.

The Beverly Hills physician is accused of several instances of negligence, including implanting too many embryos in Suleman, whose moniker "Octomom" is a reference to the octuplets he helped her conceive.

Her babies born 9 weeks premature in Jan. 2009 have since become the world's longest-surviving set of octuplets.

Fertility specialists have criticized Kamrava's methods, saying he endangered Suleman's health, and the lives and long-term health of the babies.

Though other doctors in the field say they're not impressed with it, Kamrava has long touted a method of in vitro fertilization, which implants an embryo --or sometimes sperm with an unfertilized egg -- directly into the uterine lining.

Last year, Kamrava was kicked out of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a blow to his prestige but the non-profit group does not have legal authority to prevent him from practicing medicine.

In addition to fertility medicine claims, Kamrava is accused of failing to refer Suleman for a mental health evaluation before giving her fertility treatments.

Records obtained by The Associated Press show that prior to 2001, Suleman was treated with Celexa and Sonata for depression and sleeplessness, and Clonopin for anxiety.

Before the birth of the octuplets, the divorced and unemployed 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 use her notoriety for income through the tabloid media, but she struggles to pay rent and is currently facing a $450,000 balloon payment on her La Habra home.

Unlike Suleman, Kamrava has kept a low profile, and declined repeated requests for interview from The Associated Press.

In July, Kamrava made a rare appearance in an ABC "Nightline" interview, defending his treatment of Suleman by saying it was "done the right way."

The board's accusation says Kamrava was also negligent in his treatment of two other patients.

Kamrava allegedly implanted too many embryos in one patient, resulting in the death of a fetus, and failed to refer another woman to a cancer specialist after finding cysts on her ovaries.