The controversial Beverly Hills fertility specialist who implanted a dozen embryos into Nadya Suleman – a move which resulted in her giving birth to octuplets - has admitted for the first time that he made a mistake and has apologized.
“I’m sorry for what happened. When I look back at it, I wish I had never done it and it will never happen again,” Dr. Michael Kamrava, wiping back tears, testified before the Medical Board of California hearing in Los Angeles on Thursday.
“Do you feel that what you did was wrong?” asked his attorney, Henry Fenton.
“At the time that I did it, I thought I did the right thing,” said an emotional Kamrava, as he appeared before Administrative Law Judge Daniel Juarez. “When I look back at it, even with all those circumstances, I was wrong.”
In addition to the octuplets, Kamrava helped Suleman, 35, conceive six other children prior to her giving birth to eight babies – six boys and two girls. He said the last time he saw her was when he implanted her with the embryos back in July, 2008.
At the time, Kamrava said, he considered Suleman to be infertile and possibly pre-menopausal.
He recommended implanting four embryos, or using embryos Suleman had previously frozen with the goal of conceiving one child. Kamrava said that Suleman disagreed with his opinion.
“She just wouldn’t accept doing anything else with those embryos. She did not want them frozen, she did not want them transferred to another patient in the future,” Kamrava testified.
“Did you feel you were compelled to put in as many embryos as she wanted?” Fenton asked.
“That was my impression… that I had to go with the patient,” Kamrava told Judge Juarez.
He said that he was “apprehensive” after implanting so many embryos, but that Suleman said she would abort some of the fetuses if she became pregnant with more than triplets.
Kamrava said that he repeatedly tried to contact Suleman to follow up by phone after he implanted the embryos, but that Suleman never answered or returned his calls. He assumed she was receiving follow-up care from her doctors at Kaiser Permanente, where she would eventually give birth to the world’s only surviving octuplets on January, 26, 2009.
When Kamrava first heard news stories that octuplets had been born in Southern California, he said he did suspect that Suleman was in fact the mystery mom.
Kamrava said Suleman called him from the hospital and said, “That was me that you heard on the news.” He said Suleman told him that there were reporters camped outside her hospital room and she didn’t know what to tell them.
“I told her, ‘Well, tell the truth,’” he said.
Suleman has previously claimed that she had only six embryos implanted and that two divided, but Kamrava’s testimony clearly contradicts her claims.
Kamrava also told the court that Suleman’s pregnancy made him sad.
“It’s a very risky pregnancy,” he said, as his tears once again filled with tears, “She’s lucky she made it through, both for the babies and her.”
He said he has since taken an ethics course, changed staff in his office and lab, improved his office record keeping and adhered to national guidelines restricting the number of embryos he can implant.
Kamrava said that if patients do not agree with those guidelines, “I just don’t take them.”
Kamrava’s testimony will continue Monday. Suleman and the other two patients are not expected to testify, lawyers said.
As RadarOnline.com has previously reported, Kamrava could have his medical license revoked if it is determined he was grossly negligent in his treatment of Suleman and two other female patients.