With a pen around his neck sporting a secret camera, Dr Nikita A Levy secretly recorded women during pelvic exams – this process includes looking at external genital organs.
After hearing the terrible news, many of his former patients stated they were sometimes summoned for unnecessary check-ups, touched inappropriately and verbally abused by the doctor. He worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital, but was fired in 2013 after a colleague raised concerns to hospital authorities about a hidden camera. After being confronted, he turned over several cameras.
Levy was told to seek counselling and was escorted off the premises. The hospital informed the police, but 10 days later he committed suicide. There were no criminal charges as following an investigation, it was found that he had not shared the videos and images, of which there were over 1,000, but rather kept them on his home computer for self-viewing. Before his death, he sent out letters to all his patients apologizing for his actions. However, his suicide frustrated many who wanted answers and to see him face justice.
The hospital now faces a civil lawsuit for the invasion of privacy, emotional distress of victims and negligence in the oversight of Levy. It has agreed to pay $190 million to more than 7,000 patients for the violation of doctor-patient trust. If the settlement is approved, each victim will be reviewed by a forensic psychologist and interviewed by a PTSD specialist to determine the damage, and place victims into groups identified by levels of trauma.
A spokesperson for Johns Hopkins Hospital stated they were deeply sorry for what had happened, and that they hoped the settlement, alongside the fact enforcements had found the images had not been shared, would help to form a measure of closure.
However some of Levy’s former patients have now dropped out of the medical system entirely, and refuse to take their children too. They have become less able to focus, for example in work, suffered from sleeplessness and a change in relationships with partners, and also had to enrol into counselling.
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