A John Hopkins OBGYN at who was recently facing allegations of filming his patients without their consent has apparently killed himself in his own home in Maryland. Nikita Levy had been accused by a colleague of using a camera at the top of his pen to take photos and video of the women he saw. Terrifying, right?
Police say they have found a huge amount of evidence in the doctor’s home pointing to the accuracy of these allegations. So far, it is not clear what Levy was doing with the footage and pictures, or whether or not others knew about them, but regardless, it is clear that his patients are all in a state of shock and fear right now of what could have happened while under his care.
“It’s disgusting that you’ve got to trust these people and you can’t trust him,” said Tasha Bynam, a former patient of Dr. Levy. While we are expected to trust all of our doctors, it’s alarming to imagine that one of the folks we are entrusting with the most exposing and — let’s be honest — casually stressful medical care could actually do something so horribly predatory.
You know how it can be rather difficult to find an OB/GYN whom you are comfortable with that doesn’t have a waiting list of 8 years? Typically, it is already nerve-wracking to open your legs and put your feet on stirrups and feel quite so exposed when you first have a new doctor, but now, I feel as though I’m going to be even more apprehensive, which is a shame because obviously, most doctors are not bad people. Male OB/GYNs already have a difficult time proving critics wrong on that front, and this will likely not do any good for their case.
Hopefully, though, this was a completely isolated instance and that Levy did not share any of these women’s images with anybody else. Unfortunately, Levy was in practice for over two decades, so the potential for an enormous number of victims is present (and very, very frightening for all of those people). Baltimore police have set up a hotline for possible victims at 410-396-2269, while John Hopkins set up its own at 855-546-3785 to offer them counseling, if they so desire.
Of the incident, the hospital released a statement. It said, in part:
“Any invasion of patient privacy is intolerable. Words cannot express how deeply sorry we are for every patient whose privacy may have been violated…
In order to ascertain the full extent of this matter, the Johns Hopkins Medicine Board of Trustees will be setting up a separate independent investigation which will work in tandem with law enforcement. The Board expects to name someone shortly to head up the independent investigation.
We regard our patient’s right to privacy and professionalism as fundamental and foundational. We deeply regret any distress experienced by our patients and their families.”