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‘Octomom’ Nadya Suleman ignored advice, her doctor testifies

October 21, 2010 | 12:43 pm

The Beverly Hills fertility doctor who assisted Nadya Suleman in conceiving octuplets said she insisted against his recommendations that he transfer a dozen embryos and he felt he had no choice.

"She just wouldn't accept doing anything else with those embryos," Dr. Michael Kamrava testified Thursday during a state hearing to determine whether his medical license should be revoked. "She did not want them frozen, she did not want them transferred to another patient in the future."

"Did you feel you were compelled to put in as many embryos as she wanted?" asked Kamrava's attorney, Henry Fenton of Los Angeles based-Fenton Nelson.

"That was my impression -- that I had to go with the patient," Kamrava said.

Kamrava is facing charges that he was grossly negligent in his treatment of Suleman, who he also helped conceive six other children, 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.

The doctor said that the last time he saw Suleman was when he performed the in vitro fertilization procedure in July 2008 that led to the octuplets.

He said he had recommended transferring four embryos, or using some embryos she had already frozen -- but Suleman refused. He noted in her medical records that she wanted to go against his recommendation and that he had advised her of the risks.

Kamrava said he was "apprehensive," but Suleman had agreed to fetal reduction if she became pregnant with more than triplets.

In the months that followed, the doctor said he repeatedly attempted to contact Suleman by phone, but she never answered or returned his messages. He said he assumed Suleman received follow-up care from her Kaiser Permanente doctors.

When Kamrava heard Suleman had delivered octuplets, he said he was "shocked."

On the day of her delivery, Jan. 26, 2009, he said Suleman called him at least once from her hospital room at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center, where the babies had been born nine weeks premature. (The children remain the world's longest-living octuplets.)

Kamrava said Suleman told him, "That was me that you heard on the news" and that news reporters were outside her door.

He said she asked him what she should tell the reporters.

"I told her well, tell the truth," Kamrava said.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske