Slow Justice

By Jim McVeagh 05/01/2010


I know it seems counterintuitive that the US, home of rabid, wall-to-wall lawyers, should be slow in providing medical discipline, but it is true. You may recall the case of Nadya Suleman, who had octuplets after her fertility “treatment”, despite already having six children (via IVF treatment) and despite still living with her parents. I have blogged about this here and here. Her gynaecologist, Dr. Michael Kamrava apparently thought it acceptable to attempt IVF with 3 times the normal number of embryos, on a woman who clearly has a deep-seated psychological problem, purely because his success rate for fertilisation was low.

A year after the California Medical Board began investigation of Dr. Kamrava, they have now brought charges of negligence against him. That is a year of this man continuing his practice, despite there being sufficient evidence, since the case broke in the media, to suggest that Dr Kamrava is an unethical toad.

I’ve seen dead things move faster…

I am not a fan of trial by media, but surely a high profile case such as this should have been dealt with swiftly? Are the California Medical Board waiting for Dr. Kamrava to preside over the fertilisation of a female serial killer and the subsequent delivery of her nine babies? What exactly will it take for the authorities to move their backsides a little and make sure that unprincipled hounds like this are removed from their positions of trust and responsibility?

Or have  Kamrava’s lawyers been playing a delaying game because they clearly have no defense, judging from this remark –

However, his attorney Peter Osinoff said fertility patients aren’t typically screened for mental health problems “unless there is overt evidence of pathology, and there was not overt evidence of pathology, that will be our argument.”

Yeah, right. Five previous IVFs (last one twins) and the mother wants more. This is normal??? And don’t give me the nonsense that a doctor can’t dictate the size of a woman’s family. Any ethical doctor would have long ago seen that this lady had a real problem and at least recommended a psychiatric assessment prior to any further fertility treatment. One can only assume that Dr Kamrava’s assessment rested solely on the amount of money Nadya Suleman was willing to pay. If that is the truth of it, then he should be struck from the register as a warning to all who would place profit before their patient’s wellbeing.

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