Women's Issues

Hospital Pays $190 Million To Thousands Of Gyno Patients Recorded By Pervert Doctor

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john-hopkins-settlementYesterday, Johns Hopkins Hospital agreed to pay $190 million to over 7,000 women who were secretly recorded during pelvic exams. Their doctor, Nikita A. Levy, wore a “pen” around his neck that was actually a concealed camera. He was recording the women for years. It’s the biggest malpractice suit of its kind. It’s unfathomable that a doctor can do something like this – totally unnoticed- for years.

Levy worked as a gynecologist and obstetrician for Johns Hopkins Community Medicine in Baltimore. A female colleague reported him after becoming suspicious of his pen recorder device. He committed suicide ten days later. The police investigated Levy’s computers and concluded he had not shared the videos and images. The violated patients took up a huge class action lawsuit against the hospital, accusing Dr. Levy of “harmful and offensive” sexual contact. No kidding.

From The New York Times:

Jonathan Schochor, a lawyer for the patients, said women were devastated to learn of the filming.

“They feel an extreme breach of faith, breach of trust and betrayal,” he said. Many former patients “have dropped out of the medical system,” he said, adding that they now refuse to see doctors or take their children to pediatricians out of mistrust.

I feel for all of these women and they deserve a giant pay out. Not that it helps at all with what they have been through – but at least there is some accountability now, which Levy denied them when he committed suicide. This isn’t just an “extreme breach of faith and trust” – these women have basically been assaulted by their doctor. Can there be a more vulnerable situation than the one you are in when you are undergoing a pelvic exam? That Levy was able to pull this off for years unnoticed by his colleagues is very disturbing.

Initially, the hospital identified nearly 12,700 patients Dr. Levy might have seen in his 25 years as an employee. Investigators estimated that he began recording patients with tiny cameras hidden in a pen or a key fob around 2005.

“Words cannot describe how deeply sorry we are for all this has affected,” two top officials of Johns Hopkins wrote to former patients last year. “We are terribly sorry this has happened and for the distress you must be feeling.”

The hospital is doing the right thing, but how do you reverse that kind of invasion? I’m not surprised that many of the women report dropping out of the medical system. Who can blame them?

Hopefully the settlement will offer these women some sort of closure.

(photo: Twitter)