Dr. Nikita A. Levy, a gynecologist formerly employed by Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore accused of taking pictures and videos of his patients without their knowledge, wrapped his head inside a plastic bag on Feb. 18, pumped that bag full of helium, and killed himself, after writing an apology letter to his wife, according to CBS News.
ABC News reported on Feb. 22 that the first of many lawsuits seeking damages against Johns Hopkins are already underway.
Security personnel at Johns Hopkins Hospital were alerted initially by another staff member from the hospital that “Levy was using personal video equipment to tape his patients.” Before taking his own life, Levy sent a letter to his patients stating that he was leaving Hopkins, but didn’t specify why.
Along with the suicide letter to his wife, Levy also left behind “multiple hard drives, computers and servers” that were commandeered by the authorities. Levy’s electronics are currently being scrutinized by police as they search for images of Levy’s patients taken without their permission and without their knowledge.
Tyesha Bell, a former employee and patient of Levy’s for six years, was the first to file a $ 5 million lawsuit against Johns Hopkins.
"I can remember on one occasion we were talking about an issue, a health issue that I was having, and brought up to my doctor and he was almost extremely interested," said Bell.
Ms. Bell said that she recalls feeling uncomfortable during that session with Levy.
Levy served about 1,000 patients during his days practicing as a gynecologist at Hopkins. Many of those patients have already called a hotline set up by the Baltimore Police Department.
That dedicated telephone hotline can be reached by calling 410-396-2269.
Baltimore Police assure the public that all calls and information to the hotline will be kept strictly confidential.
Currently, the detectives are “actively reviewing a substantial amount of evidence.”
If you are a current or former patient of Dr. Levy's, please know that affected victims will be contacted independently by investigators in the coming weeks.
And from the Hopkins website:
After being alerted by an employee, on February 4, 2013, our security department at Johns Hopkins initiated an investigation of Nikita Levy, M.D., a Hopkins obstetrician/gynecologist. Within a day, we determined that Dr. Levy had been illegally and without our knowledge, photographing his patients and possibly others with his personal photographic and video equipment and storing those images electronically. At that time, in order to protect patient welfare, Dr. Levy was prohibited from any further patient contact.
Johns Hopkins Medicine has received numerous calls from concerned patients of Dr. Nikita Levy. They have also set up a special call center, staffed 24 hours a day, to make sure that all calls are answered promptly and triaged to the most appropriate person. This call center is designed to provide information about counseling options and to assist those who need new appointments. Due to the high volume of calls, it is taking longer to sift through them than we expected. Concerned patients of Dr. Levy can call Hopkins at 855-546-3785.
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