January 05, 2010
Octomom Doc Accused Of Negligence

The California Medical Board doesn't think highly of medical procedures that produce octuplet pregnancies.

A disciplinary complaint filed by the California Medical Board said that Dr Michael Kamrava acted “beyond reasonable judgment” by helping Nadya Suleman to conceive octuplets.

8 babies developing in a womb are each going to get well less than ideal nutrition for optimal development of brain and body. Such babies are at risk of learning disabilities and other problems later in life.

A disaster?

Dr. Richard Paulson, who heads the fertility program at the University of Southern California, said it sounds like Kamrava did nothing ''to prevent this disaster.'' ''An octuplet pregnancy, in my opinion, is a disaster,'' said Paulson, who has no role in the case.

Was this fertility doctor negligent? Was Nadya Suleman irresponsible and were her actions harmful to the public interest? Does the public interest matter? Are there external costs to pregnancies?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 January 05 11:41 PM  Bioethics Reproduction

C said at January 6, 2010 6:25 AM:

I think it's wrong to have Doctor's consider non-medical costs to pregnancies.

The government or any agency has no right to directly interfere with a woman's decision to become pregnant.

I think the feeding tube argument might be legitimate, but the mental health, external cost, etc etc, is ridiculous.

random said at January 6, 2010 8:28 AM:

The government is well within it's rights to interfere when a woman requires a medical procedure to become pregnant. These procedures need to be safe and well-regulated for the safety of potential mothers and potential offspring. It was medically irresponsible for him to implant a very fertile 33 year old mother of 6 children with 8 embryos.

He should never again be allowed to provide fertilization services, and I would not be surprised if he loses his medical license.

Nick G said at January 6, 2010 8:46 PM:

I think the public interest does matter, but much less than the interest of the mother and children.

As random said, this was reckless endangerment of the children (and mother).

nmg said at January 7, 2010 8:16 AM:

Everything everyone does has an "external cost".

If this woman had happened to birth octuplets naturally would that be something that affects the "public interest" and impose "external costs". Or if someone has eight children sequentially is that somehow different?

Bob Badour said at January 7, 2010 9:11 AM:


Random accidents impose costs on the public. The public cannot avoid random accidents; although, the public can try to mitigate damage from them. That's not the issue here.

Implanting 6 or 8 fetuses in the womb of a single woman who already has six kids to feed is not a random accident. It is an intentional act by a professional sworn to a code of ethics. At issue is whether his intentional act violated those ethics.

By the same token, sometimes buildings collapse due to random accidents and sometimes they collapse due to fraudulent builders using sub-standard materials to save costs. The random accidents are neither torts nor crimes.

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