Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Doctors have been sanctioned for snapping photos of patients during surgery, for posting or writing anything with identifying information about patients or even for looking at their medical records out of curiosity. Now the Washington Post reports that for more than two decades, women came to see Johns Hopkins gynecologist Nikita Levy and trusted him with not only the most private parts of their bodies but also with their innermost secrets. This week patients were reeling from the news that their doctor had committed suicide after being accused of surreptitiously videotaping and photographing many of his patients. Police said they have removed nearly 10 image-filled computer hard drives from Levy’s home in Towson, Md. “Never in a thousand years would I have imagined such a thing,” says Deborah Doerfer, a certified nurse midwife who worked with Levy off and on for nearly 20 years. “He was incredibly compassionate. He was always there to take care of his patients. They expected him to be on call 24/7, and he was.” Police would not speculate how many images the hard drives may contain, nor when Levy allegedly began recording them. Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says police found multiple cameras in at least one examination room, although he would not describe how they were hidden. “Everybody understands what’s at stake here," says Lois Shepherd, an expert on biomedical ethics at the University of Virginia. "Just like when we’re in surgery and under anesthesia, we trust that our body will be exposed as necessary for a procedure, but not more than necessary. And certainly not for people’s titillation, or even for their curiosity.” Johns Hopkins Medicine has set up a hotline that patients can call to arrange for counseling."
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