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'Octomom’s' fertility doctor had trouble finding experts to bolster his case, attorney says [Updated]

October 18, 2010 | 10:13 am

The attorney representing the fertility doctor who treated Nadya Suleman said he has had difficulty finding experts to testify on his client's behalf.

"We couldn't even get anyone to look at this case because of the widespread publicity it has received," said attorney Henry Fenton.

The hearing, which got underway Monday morning, is expected to last at least a week and could determine whether Dr. Michael Kamrava's medical license will be suspended or revoked.

The Medical Board of California has accused Kamrava of gross negligence related to Suleman's case as well as a second case of a 48-year-old woman who became pregnant with quadruplets.

Deputy Atty. Gen. Judith Alvarado said she plans to call a single witness. Kamrava's attorney said he plans to call at least two doctors, who he identified in court only by their last names.

The witnesses are believed to be Dr. Tien C. Chiu, Suleman's previous fertility doctor, and Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, who has fertility clinics in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. Steinberg has publicly defended Kamrava and has been quoted saying, "Who am I to say that six [children] are the limit? There are people who like to have big families."

[Updated at 10:55 a.m.: During a court recess, Kamrava's attorney confirmed the first names of the witnesses.]

Suleman had six children as a single mother before she became pregnant with the octuplets.

The Medical Board has cited a pattern of gross negligence that led to the birth of Suleman's 14 children, including the world's longest-surviving octuplets. The Board said he created a "stockpile" of unused frozen embryos which served "no clinical purpose."

Kamrava transferred an excessive number of embryos –- a number beyond what is considered acceptable by fertility standards –- on six occasions, according to the accusation.

Kamrava has already been expelled from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine for a pattern of behavior detrimental to the industry. He continues to practice in Beverly Hills.

Kamrava has remained largely silent since the birth of Suleman's octuplets but defended his actions in a "Nightline" interview last year. He said that Suleman's case "was done the right way … under the circumstances."

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske