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Smyth asks state medical board to investigate 'octo-mom' doctor

Posted: February 17, 2009 6:38 p.m.
Updated: February 17, 2009 3:39 p.m.
 
Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, today sent a letter to the California Medical Board encouraging the continued investigation of Dr. Michael Kamvara, a southern California fertility doctor who gained recent notoriety after the birth of octuplets by one of his patients last month.

"Dr. Kamvara's practices certainly raise some ethical concerns," said Smyth. "A number of my colleagues, doctors and non-doctors alike, are watching the Medical Board's investigation very closely, and looking forward to seeing the results."

Currently there are no laws regulating the number of embryos that can be transferred during in-vitro procedures. Recent newspaper reports have shown that Dr. Kamvara implanted an abnormally high number of embryos in two patients - one who gave birth to octuplets, and the other who is pregnant with quadruplets.

"What is particularly troubling, given California's current fiscal crisis, is that taxpayers will end up picking up the tab for most of the medical expenses associated with these births," said Smyth. "That also includes the lion's share of the payments made to Dr. Kamvara."

In the letter, Smyth urges the California Medical Board to act quickly, while making sure that Dr. Kamvara's actions receive a thorough investigation.

"It's important that in addressing this reckless behavior we don't rush to impose overly burdensome regulations," Smyth said. "Before we choose to implement a legislative solution, we need to understand the depth of the problem. I don't believe that the actions of this doctor are indicative of the entire medical community, but the Legislature is certainly interested in the outcome of the Board's investigation."

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