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Nadya Suleman's fertility doctor may lose license

A state deputy attorney general asks the Medical Board of California to reject an administrative law judge's recommendation that Michael Kamrava be placed on probation. The doctor's license could be revoked.

May 06, 2011|By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
  • Michael Kamrava could lose his license if he is found negligent in treating Nadya Suleman and two other female patients.
Michael Kamrava could lose his license if he is found negligent in treating… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

At a hearing Thursday, a California deputy attorney general urged the Medical Board of California to revoke the medical license of the Beverly Hills fertility doctor who assisted Nadya Suleman in conceiving octuplets.

"Revocation is proper. It's the only way to ensure public protection," Deputy Atty. Gen. Judith T. Alvarado said.

Dr. Michael Kamrava's medical license could be revoked if it is determined that he was grossly negligent in his treatment of Suleman and two other female patients: a 48-year-old who suffered complications after she became pregnant with quadruplets and a 42-year-old diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer after receiving fertility treatments.

An administrative law judge who heard the case against Kamrava recommended in January that Kamrava keep his license and be put on five years' probation. But the medical board rejected that recommendation in February and is considering a harsher disciplinary action, setting in motion Thursday's public hearing at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport.

Alvarado criticized the judge's probation recommendation for Kamrava, citing his argument that Kamrava was unlikely to repeat bad behavior because of public scrutiny.

She contended that public scrutiny would not work with Kamrava. Despite extensive critical news coverage after the birth of the octuplets, Kamrava did not follow up on an abnormal biopsy on a 42-year-old patient who received fertility treatment, delaying her diagnosis of ovarian cancer for months.

Kamrava's lawyer, Henry Fenton, said probation is reasonable. He recalled the judge's finding that Kamrava was sorry that the in vitro fertilization process resulted in octuplets.

"Nobody died here. This is a good doctor. I argue he really learned his lesson," Fenton said. He also said Kamrava changed his entire staff.

Fenton said the failure to follow up on the abnormal biopsy of the 42-year-old patient was an isolated incident.

"He said, 'Look … it was the only time in my career I had forgotten.' It was just from the publicity of [Nadya Suleman] … that he forgot to tell her," Fenton said.

Fenton urged the medical board not to take harsher action against Kamrava merely because the case is highly publicized.

"We have an excellent physician who is very concerned, who admits his mistake," Fenton said.

He said the case involved an "unusual patient who didn't do what she was asked to do in terms of fetal reduction," or terminating some of the fetuses.

It could take 30 to 60 days before the closed-door decision is made public. Kamrava can appeal through the state court system.

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