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'Octomom' was warned of pregnancy dangers

October 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Octuplets mother Nadya Suleman was counseled multiple times about her fertility treatments, according to testimony at a hearing by the California Medical Board on Tuesday.A lawyer for Suleman's physician, Dr. Michael Kamrava, presented evidence that it was Suleman who insisted on proceeding so that she could have more babies.

Depending on the outcome of the hearing, which began on Monday, the doctor's medical license could be revoked or suspended.

An expert witness testified Tuesday morning about Kamrava's records.

Kamrava's notes show that he spoke to Suleman about the risks of multiple pregnancies, and in 2008, he recommended the transfer of four embryos to conceive her seventh child. Also, the records show that he discussed a process of pregnancy reduction if too many eggs developed into fetuses.

Instead, Suleman wanted 12 embryos implanted. Kamrava's lawyer did not refute allegations made during testimonies on Monday that the doctor had indeed implanted Suleman with 12 embryos.

The expert witness testified Monday that Kamrava dramatically deviated from what's considered the normal amount of embryos to be put into a patient and created a high risk for multiple pregnancies.

Monday's testimony also called into question claims Suleman has made in past interviews that she underwent the in vitro treatment that led to the octuplets because she didn't want her frozen embryos to go to waste. An expert witness testified that she never used frozen embryos and has 29 frozen embryos available.

The state Board of Medical Examiners alleges that Kamrava displayed repeated negligence in implanting too many embryos into Suleman, putting her health and the health of her babies in danger.

The board also faults Kamrava for not referring Suleman to a mental health professional after she repeatedly sought fertility treatments even after she already had six children in such a short time.

Before the octuplets were born in January 2009, Suleman was divorced and unemployed, and her six children lived with her mother and were dependent on food stamps, loans and disability payments for her two autistic children just 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.

Kamrava is the director of the West Coast IVF Clinic in Beverly Hills. He was expelled from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine in September, after the non-profit group cited a pattern of behavior detrimental to the industry. However, his medical license was unaffected.

The medical board hearing is expected to last around two weeks.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.


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