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REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES | Calif. Medical Board Launches Investigation of Fertility Doctor Involved in Octuplet Pregnancy

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES | Calif. Medical Board Launches Investigation of Fertility Doctor Involved in Octuplet Pregnancy
[Feb. 9, 2009]

The Medical Board of California is investigating the physician who provided fertility treatments that resulted in the birth of octuplets to a 33-year-old woman who has six other children between ages two and seven, the AP/Google.com reports. Board spokesperson Candis Cohen said that the board was looking into whether there was a "violation of the standard of care." The woman, Nadya Suleman, has said she became pregnant with the octuplets and her six other children through in vitro fertilization from the same fertility specialist.

There are no U.S. laws regulating the number of embryos that can be implanted in a woman's uterus. National guidelines call for the use of two or three embryos in a woman Suleman's age to lower risks related to multiple births. Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, said, "The revelation about one center treating her makes the treatment even harder to understand." He added, "They went ahead when she had six kids, knowing that she was a single mom, ... and put embryos into her anyway." Suleman's infants are expected to remain in the hospital for several more weeks (Mohajer, AP/Google.com, 2/7).