Medical Pioneer Sues NYU

NEW YORK -- In "total-body photography," patients typically strip nude and stand on a platform while a photographer snaps two dozen pictures covering every inch of their skin.

Bill Slue pioneered the procedure at New York University Medical Center, hoping it could save lives by letting doctors monitor unusual moles in people who might develop skin cancer. Mr. Slue, a native of Jamaica who never graduated from college, was appointed to the medical-school faculty at NYU and celebrated as an innovator in dermatology.

NYU is now struggling to distance itself from the photographer, while contending that his technique is still valid. The hospital fired Mr. Slue in January 2004, accusing him of taking extra photographs of female patients for his personal enjoyment. He denies that. The accusation followed an NYU investigation in which an attractive undercover operative visited Mr. Slue's studio posing as a patient.

A 63-year-old former Jehovah's Witnesses minister, Mr. Slue says the "extra" photos were backups that he needed for professional purposes. In 30 years, not one of the more than 16,000 patients he photographed complained about his conduct, he says. A number of NYU faculty members are backing their former colleague, saying he was framed by a subordinate.

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Related: Statement from Bill Slue about his suit against NYU