"She says, ‘Tell the ambulance not to come.’ She just needs the police."
October 16, 2019 11:06 AM   Subscribe

One Night at Mount Sinai: A star doctor drugs, then sexually assaults his patient. Aja Newman was dozing from the morphine. David Newman entered Room 8 and told her he was going to give her another dose. She objected. She had already been given morphine, she said, but the doctor was determined. ... “I’m like, ‘Wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa. This is not okay.’ And I am immediately concerned. I’m going under way too fast,” she remembers. But even then, it didn’t occur to her that David had any intention of harming her.
posted by MiraK (26 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
I feel so much respect for Aja Newman, who despite being drugged had the presence of mind to hide the sheets and her gown.

And I feel so much disgust for everyone who enabled Newman to believe that he is a good doctor who deserves to see patients. The story about a social worker reporting the doctor In October of 2015 but now mysteriously no such report exists is so typical.
posted by muddgirl at 11:36 AM on October 16, 2019 [17 favorites]

Wow, that is a story of astonishing intelligence, guts, and presence of mind under fire.

Ada Newman has saved at least hundreds of women from sexual assault by that doctor. I wonder whether he would ever have been caught.

Oh, and keep reading 'til the last paragraphs; I'd bet they will knock you right back in your chair.
posted by jamjam at 11:43 AM on October 16, 2019 [34 favorites]

How is she so grounded, so centered, so confidant? My new hero!
posted by MiraK at 12:18 PM on October 16, 2019 [7 favorites]

This is a brave woman!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:21 PM on October 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

Oh, and keep reading 'til the last paragraphs; I'd bet they will knock you right back in your chair.

Oof, yes
posted by acidnova at 1:02 PM on October 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

From the linked article within the linked article:

She spoke of her young daughter. She remembered bathing her on a recent day, and her daughter sang a song in which she listed her body parts. It was a song Ms. Newman had taught her, and she said that her mother had taught it to her and her siblings. Her daughter then said, as Ms. Newman told the court, that there were places that only her mother and her doctor could touch.

Standing only a few feet from Dr. Newman, she continued, “What do I tell her now?”

posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:16 PM on October 16, 2019 [14 favorites]

Aja Newman is a fucking hero. She should be the one giving TED talks.
posted by vespabelle at 1:27 PM on October 16, 2019 [22 favorites]

The intersection of how people discount narratives of addicts and this story is the part that tertifies me.

No one can tell the difference between self administered drugs and intentionally administered by someone else drugs.

And the fact that it mentioned that she tested clean aside from what the person gave her doesn't matter. It doesn't. Even if she'd used herion every day, this was still obviously illegal and wrong and it's so incredible the victim blaming in this society.

Its really important to me that no ones allegations are ignored. That everyone is taken seriously. Regardless of history or background, or mental illness. And the medical profession can do better.
posted by AlexiaSky at 1:43 PM on October 16, 2019 [27 favorites]

God damn the end of that is a kick in the stomach
posted by bq at 1:54 PM on October 16, 2019 [5 favorites]

Would that we all have that bravery and presence of mind.
posted by schroedinger at 1:58 PM on October 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is horrible and she's absolutely a hero. Also there's a lot of lessons in how this article is written, wow.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:21 PM on October 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I live in New Orleans. What are the chances he could be working here as a volunteer or something?
posted by narancia at 2:34 PM on October 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

he's on the sex offender list in LA too.
posted by brujita at 3:04 PM on October 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

Aja Newman is so damn brave. This guy clearly would have kept doing this. I think what she did, and so many other brave women before her, is also a service - here's how you get your evidence, here's how to believe yourself, here's how to get help. It's incremental and slow but women like Aja are chipping away at the status quo and it seems to be working.

I occasionally listen to The Cut's podcast. It's got some pretty great stuff. This one, about an assault that was perpetrated by a Lyft driver in the context of working for Lyft was really amazing but also triggering af for for anyone with...I don't know...a functioning nervous system but it also highlighted the braveness of this woman for how she acted and pushed to get answers and some kind of resolution.
posted by amanda at 3:39 PM on October 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I can't imagine someone reading this article and not coming away in awe of Aja Newman. I certainly am. But I wish the bar was a little lower -- I wish you didn't have to be something akin to a superhero to see a conviction in a case of sexual assault like this.
posted by HiddenInput at 3:46 PM on October 16, 2019 [11 favorites]

Dude is a psychopath. Did you catch the disingenuous bullshit excuse of bipolar. Fuck you, Dr. Rapey, for further stigmatizing mental health. Two years is a travesty.
posted by j_curiouser at 4:21 PM on October 16, 2019 [14 favorites]

Those last few lines.....I am crying.
posted by 41swans at 4:44 PM on October 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

Tough has a new definition, that is Aja Newman.
posted by eustatic at 8:37 PM on October 16, 2019

Wow really horrifying story. Just want to say this is very well written and feels like it does justice to Aja and asks the right questions about the system. I'll be looking out for writing by Lisa Miller.
posted by latkes at 11:22 PM on October 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Aja Newman. Extraordinary. What a tremendously brave woman. And what a very well-written piece.
posted by bardophile at 3:44 AM on October 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

The bravery, the determination, the presence of mind of this woman.

Doctors, especially ER doctors, get exposed to some of the most vulnerable possible populations. It's not at all surprising that abusers would find their way into that corner of the profession.
posted by praemunire at 7:26 AM on October 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Two fucking years.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:47 AM on October 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

This doctor is terrible but I appreciated the writer's focus on the system that enabled him. ER culture, for-profit medicine, misogyny, white supremecy, these structures cause this outcome.

I work at a safety net non-profit hospital but even without the profit motive further enabling Big White Male 'Geniuses' shitty behavior, I can absolutely imagine this happening in our ER.
posted by latkes at 1:17 PM on October 17, 2019 [8 favorites]

I am trembling with fury at the lengths to which this incredibly courageous woman had to go before people in power acknowledged that she had been violated.

Meanwhile, the predator who sexually assaulted her got the benefit of the doubt from the very beginning and a minuscule penalty that was vastly disproportionate to the scope of the trauma he has inflicted.
posted by virago at 6:39 PM on October 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

At least his profession has the ability to strip his power over patients. That's a lot more than can be said about most predators.

Although I do wonder if he would have permanently lost his license if he hadn't stolen the propofol.
posted by muddgirl at 10:36 AM on October 18, 2019

Aja Newman is tough and really smart, along with brave. David Newman sounds like a psychopath, not uncommon, a guy who will abuse trust, just because he can. This article should be required reading.
posted by theora55 at 4:44 PM on October 20, 2019

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