CBC’s “The Fifth Estate” tackles doctor/patient boundaries

Yesterday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation finally telecast an investigative report on their esteemed series “The Fifth Estate” about doctors who cross the line with their patients.

Titled “Doctors Without Boundaries,” its premise is: When doctors are accused of crossing ethical or legal boundaries with their female patients, why does it take so long for authorities to protect the public – if they act at all? An investigation by Bob McKeown.

The video is available on this link: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2682489042/

If due to some reason, CBC shows cannot be live-streamed in your country, you can watch the report on youtube here:

About time the CBC – which had a few internal scandals of various kinds over the years, most famously its shocking Jian Ghomeshi scandal – aired a report like this.

For what its worth, this blog had once questioned why the Fifth Estate hadn’t already done so – i.e. an investigative report on doctors who cross ethical and legal boundaries such as Levin.

Good work, CBC. Greatly appreciated. Better late than never.

One of the doctors profiled in the documentary is sleazy psychiatrist Stanley Debrowolski. Details from his case can also be read here: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/11/30/psychiatrists-decades-of-sex-transgressions-over.html

Another “dirty doc” is psychiatrist Ravi Shenava. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/01/21/us-psychiatrist-faces-criminal-sex-assault-charges-in-canada-cbc-reports.html

Also featured is Dr. Patrick Nesbitt, who was unethical and abusive toward both his female patients and his wife. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/doctor-faces-criminal-charges-patrick-nesbitt-1.3413645

A must-see documentary. Viewer discretion advised.

Last week, another strange case of a prominent doctor crossing lines was reported in several newspapers in New York. The case of David Newman MD, a highly respected doctor who was accused of ejaculating into the mouth of his semi-conscious female patient. Here are two reports from the New York Times:

“E.R. Doctor at Mt. Sinai Hospital Charged With Sexual Abuse of 2 Patients” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/20/nyregion/er-doctor-at-mt-sinai-hospital-charged-with-sexual-abuse-of-2-patients.html

“A prominent emergency room doctor at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan was arrested on Tuesday and accused of drugging, groping and masturbating on a female patient and groping another in separate episodes several months apart, the authorities said. The charges against the doctor, David H. Newman, 45, a proponent of reforms in emergency care who has written widely about improving doctor-patient relationships, describe him targeting young women for abuse when they sought medical treatment.”

And, this:

“Colleagues Express Disbelief Over Arrest of Doctor With Picture-Perfect Life” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/21/nyregion/colleagues-express-disbelief-over-arrest-of-doctor-with-picture-perfect-life.html

“Dr. David H. Newman seemed to have it all: an impressive post in emergency medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, a prominent and growing public presence as an expert in health care reform, a wife who is a doctor, two young sons, and a gracious home in the New Jersey suburbs. So when he was arrested on Tuesday and charged with sexually abusing two patients under his care in the emergency room, the reaction from his wide circle of colleagues was disbelief.”




Aubrey Levin’s bid to appeal sex assault convictions denied by Supreme Court

Link below from the CBC which in the last week has been riddled with its own top-star’s scandal, as more and more women are coming out with stories of violent sexualized encounters with the CBC’s former golden boy Jian Ghomeshi. (And yes, it did bring back memories for me of the emails I received last year from the brave women who had written about the public persona vs private conduct of a certain Toronto psychiatrist (not Levin) who also had a gig with the CBC, although for the benefit of fact, I will say that those revelations, though dark, definitely did not involve hitting, slapping, biting or anything that physically hurtful and violent. This is not to minimize the pain suffered or its nature.)

In any case, as in the case of Levin or others in positions of power within their respective fields – it goes to show that smiling, charming, seemingly kind and “intellectual” public personas have little to do with the stark contrasts people may exhibit or possess behind closed doors. The hypocrisy of narcissists.


The Supreme Court of Canada has shut the door on a psychiatrist’s request to appeal three convictions for sexually assaulting his court-appointed patients.

Dr. Aubrey Levin of Calgary was found guilty by a jury in January 2013 and was sentenced to five years in prison.

He had asked the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of his convictions, but that request has been denied.

As always, the top court did not give reasons for its decision.

Allegations against Levin came to light in 2010 after (read more)

Jury Deadlocked

From the CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/01/27/calgary-levin-sex-assault-trial-verdict-expected.html

CBC News

Posted: Jan 27, 2013 1:51 PM MT

Last Updated: Jan 27, 2013 8:46 PM MT

The jury in the trial of Dr. Aubrey Levin has entered its third day of deliberations.
A jury that was given the task of deciding on the fate of a former prominent Calgary psychiatrist accused of molesting several of his court-appointed patients was unable to reach a verdict Sunday evening.

The seven man, four woman jury handed a letter to the judge, after three days of trying to come to a consensus.

“After vigorous and lengthy deliberations, we are unable to reach a verdict on any of the nine charges and are not convinced further deliberations will help,” read the letter to the judge.

Justice Donna Shelley decided the jury should sleep on the decision for one more night.

Defence lawyer Chris Archer spoke against the decision, saying, “I don’t believe we need to go any further. This is a mistrial.”

Lawyers are meeting to discuss next steps, and the judge will address the jury Monday morning.

Dr. Aubrey Levin, 74, is accused of sexually assaulting nine of his male patients, all of whom were assigned to him through the courts between 1999 and 2010.

The case was handed to the jury on Friday but it failed to reach a verdict for a third straight day Saturday.

The allegations came to light in 2010 after one of the patients came forward with secret videos he recorded during court-ordered sessions with the psychiatrist.

The videos, played in court, show Levin undoing the man’s belt and jeans and appearing to fondle him.

The patient, identified only as R.B. in court, was on probation at the time the videos were taken and was under court order to see Levin twice a month.

The man said he had told authorities about previous assaults and no one believed him, so he bought a spy camera and brought it to his appointments. After Levin was arrested, other former patients came forward with abuse allegations.

Levin, who immigrated to Canada from South Africa, has denied all the allegations and claimed he was conducting examinations to help with sexual dysfunction.

He was frequently used by the courts to assess people and provide expert opinions at hearings.

Last week, Levin’s wife, Erica Levin, 69, was cited for contempt of court and placed under house arrest for allegedly trying to bribe a juror to acquit her husband.

She is expected to be charged with obstruction of justice over the next few days.

The juror, who had to be dismissed, told the court she’d been approached near the court house and offered an envelope, apparently containing cash, to find Levin not guilty.

Wife accused of trying to bribe juror in husband’s sex assault caseClosing arguments wrap in Aubrey Levin sex assault trialFinal arguments underway in Aubrey Levin sex assault trialAlleged victim in Levin trial says he was assaulted for a decadeAlleged sex assault videos shown at Aubrey Levin trialAubrey Levin mistrial avoidedAubrey Levin not able to cross-examine in sex assault trial