Dr. Victor Fujimoto, who testified against Kamrava for the state and heads the fertility program at the University of California, San Francisco, said Thursday there was no doubt justice has been served with Kamrava’s license revocation, and most doctors know better than to make such mistakes.
“The consensus that is very clear among my industry peers and my physician colleagues is that Dr. Kamrava operated well outside the standards,” Fujimoto said.
Steinberg said it often takes a long, hard conversation to convince a patient that implanting more embryos is not better, no matter how desperate they are to become pregnant.
“In the end that tissue belongs to the patients,” he said. “We worry about them turning around to accuse us of murder or some such thing if we don’t do as they say.”
Neither doctor believes there should be limits on how many times a patient can seek in vitro treatment. In addition, patients who want big families should be accommodated, they said.
In a span of less than eight years, Suleman underwent repeated treatments resulting in a total of 14 children, including her octuplets. In all, she was implanted with 60 embryos.
Fujimoto says fertility medicine is competitive, and doctors often try to differentiate themselves by boasting specialized methods. But there is no evidence that Kamrava’s method was better than others in the field, he said.
Patients often look at published success rates before choosing where to get expensive treatments.
It’s unclear if more women might go as far as Suleman did to realize their dream of a large family. But doctors have likely learned their lesson, Fujimoto said.
“I can’t imagine that there will be another Kamrava,” he said. “I suspect there are always those who straddle the fence more than others. My hope is they will take this as a wake-up call and they will make efforts to improve their pregnancy rates through efforts other than using more embryos.”