In what is sure to be known as the understatement of the month (year? Decade?) Dr. Michael Kamrava had his license suspended by the California Medical Board who said that he “did not exercise sound judgment” when he implanted Nadya Suleman, AKA "Octomom" with 12 embryos in 2008, resulting in her eight babies.
This was not even his only offense. Kamrava also had a 48-year-old patient whom he implanted with quadruplets who had numerous complications and he also failed to note abnormal tests in a woman who was later found to have ovarian cancer.
The word "irresponsible" does not even begin to describe this man who did these things to these women. Never mind that the American Society of Reproductive Medicine guidelines say doctors should not normally implant more than two embryos in women under age 35. But he is not the only one to blame.
Suleman was a single mom of six when he implanted the embryos and by the time he was done with her, she was a single mom of 14. FOURTEEN. I have a husband to help me and two children, 18 months apart feels overwhelming at times. What was she thinking when she asked him for more babies?
The doctor said that his patients were to blame for refusing termination. And that is reason enough to suspend him. The fact is, he should have stopped Suleman. A good fertility doctor is honest with his patients and also ethical.
A pregnancy like Suleman's is taxing, not only to Suleman herself, but also to the doctors and nurses who must care for her and as a result for any women pregnant at the same time. Eventually, her children are burdens to the taxpayers (as she has come very close to requiring public assistance) and everyone who knows or loves Suleman.
The focus in fertility medicine must be one healthy pregnancy, not multiple. This doctor wanted fame at best. At worst he is a narcissist who played on women's insecurities and deepest desires to fulfill his own need to create life. A good doctor sees his patients and can say no when what they ask for is unreasonable.
Many blame Octomom for what happened and they are right to. She IS partially to blame. It was like a perfect storm. A crazy woman and a doctor with no limits and the complete degradation of a process that is designed to bring life and hope into the lives of the infertile.
When Octomom and her doctor performed their little experiment, they sullied the names of he fertility doctors who don't play G-d and who do genuinely want only to bring life to couples who can't conceive. For that reason (and many others), he deserved to lose his license.
Unfortunately, it happened after he had already done his damage and there is no similar punishment for the woman who agreed to be his incubator.
Do you think Octomom is to blame, too?
Image via [F]oxymoron/Flickr