Thursday, February 28, 2013

Johns Hopkins gynecologist uses pen camera to record patients

Camera phones have become so good that they casually rise to the top of photo sharing service rankings.  Technology has miniaturized still further, though, as a decent camera can be embedded in a pen, and not only that, with HD quality and at a cost that is affordable for just about anyone. The use of such tech is what the late Johns Hopkins gynecologist, Dr. Nikita Levy, is alleged of using to secretly record his patients. Details of the case emerged on Wednesday.

The case became known to hospital officials after an employee reported the doctor. The unnamed co-worker becamse suspicious of the pen that Levy wore around his neck while examining patients. She said she believed the device was a camera pen.

According to the reports that surfaced Wednesday, the employee told first hospital officials of her suspicions on Feb. 4, according to a letter written by the hospital's CEO, Dr. Paul Rothman. The letter, dated Tuesday, was sent to the law offices of Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White, which is working with the Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center.

Police have said that over 2,000 of Levy's former and current patients have called a hotline set up by the hospital.

In Rothman's letter, he wrote that Johns Hopkins security personnel questioned Levy at his office on Feb. 5. Devices similar to the one described by the employee were found both in Levy's office and on his person. As of that day, Levy was banned from any patient contact, and escorted off Johns Hopkins grounds.

On the next day, the hospital informed Baltimore police, and authorities began investigating. They reportedly have found a large amount of multimedia evidence.

In terms of Levy himself, the point is moot. Police said that Levy, 54, killed himself in his home on Feb. 18.

While Levy will not face justice, Johns Hopkins itself is facing a number of class action lawsuits.

Meanwhile, the authorities are still researching the case, trying to if, in this Internet-connected world, whether or not Levy shared any content to the Web. They are also attempting to determine if anyone else was involved in the videos, and if any were sold.

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