Octumom Doctor Faces the Music

by Jennifer Lahl, CBC President on January 6, 2010

Fertility doctor, Michael Kamrava, responsible for the Octuplet births of Nadya Suleman in 2009 has finally been accused of gross negligence by the California Medical Board. Kamrava was already expelled from membership with the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and now faces the medical board. We will be watching this case closely, but meanwhile refresh your memory with the story as we wrote much about the Octuplet controversy last year, here

Dr. James Grifo, a fertility specialist at NYU School of Medicine said, “I don’t think it’s our job to tell them how many babies they’re allowed to have. I am not a policeman for reproduction in the United States. My role is to educate patients.” I caught Grifo on the news reiterating his praise of the ASRM guidelines and objecting to laws that would regulate medical practice.

But what has become of the medical profession which is to profess their special knowledge and training in medicine, for the good and the benefit of their patients? In educating their infertile patients they would to well to explain that the human female body is not designed to produce litters. They would do well to avoid putting women and children into harms way by endangering their health by intentionally causing a multiple birth-high-risk pregnancy.

and here
I believe that part of the frustration over Ms. Suleman’s actions stems from our lack of a common good, for which we share a portion of the blame. That is, we are inheriting the fruit of a liberal democracy which protects and celebrates individual autonomy and self-realization, coupled with “consumable” technology which allows us to increasingly realize desires that transcend biological limitations, bereft of any metanarrative or defining story which might otherwise call such exercises into question. Actually, we are following a story of sorts, but one which has left just enough ground on which to do little more than stand and point our finger at another. This story is the myth of freedom, the myth that we are autonomous rational subjects free to pursue our own vision of happiness and fulfillment so long as our rights do not infringe upon another’s. We’re getting what we asked for.


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