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Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 13:00 UK

Octuplets hospital workers fired

Octuplets mother Nadya Suleman, file picture from 11 March 2009
Suleman, 33, gave birth to the six boys and two girls in January

Fifteen hospital workers have been fired for improperly accessing the medical records of octuplets mother Nadya Suleman, officials have said.

Eight other staff at the Bellflower medical centre near Los Angeles were disciplined for looking at the records without permission, the hospital said.

The single mother, 33, gave birth to the six boys and two girls in January.

The violations of health care privacy laws had been reported to the state, a hospital spokesman said.

"Despite the notoriety of this case, to us this person is a patient who deserves the privacy that all our patients get," said the spokesman, Jim Anderson.

MULTIPLE BIRTHS
US first live-born octuplets delivered in Texas, 1998; seven survive
Octuplets born in Italy, 2000; two die shortly after delivery
Octuplets born in Mexico City, 1967, but all died within 14 hours, according to Encyclopedia Britannica
World's first surviving set of septuplets born in Iowa, US, 1997
First all-female surviving sextuplets born in the UK, 1983, to the Walton family

He added that there was no indication any of the information had been distributed to the media.

Jeff Czech, Ms Suleman's lawyer, said his client did not plan to sue over the breach.

He said he suspected the hospital employees were looking for medical information on the sperm donor who had fathered the octuplets, the Associate Press news agency reported.

The name of the donor is not listed on the medical records, Mr Czech added.

Ms Suleman became just the second person recorded in the US to have delivered a set of living octuplets when she gave birth on 26 January.

The six boys and two girls, who were nine weeks premature, were delivered by Caesarean section in the Kaiser Permanente Bellflower hospital near Los Angeles, California.

Ms Suleman, who already had six children when she gave birth, had checked in to the hospital 23 weeks into her pregnancy and gave birth seven weeks later.

The US's first live-born set of octuplets was delivered in Houston, Texas, in 1998.



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SEE ALSO
US woman gives birth to octuplets
27 Jan 09 |  Americas
Octuplets mother heads home
30 Dec 98 |  Health
Gifts pour in for octuplets
26 Dec 98 |  Health

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