Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why you must volunteer for my study

Are we morally obligated to volunteer for medical research?  Gina Maranto blogs on Biopolitical Times.

What are the responsibilities of generic drugmakers?

A Minnesota woman with tardive dyskinesia from a generic version of Reglan has taken her case to the Supreme Court.  Read it in the Strib.

A bizarrely punitive drug court

In a riveting hour-long episode of This American Life, Ira Glass reports on a Georgia drug court that is run differently from every other drug court in the country. People with offenses that would get no sentences elsewhere sometimes end up in the system five to ten years  Listen here. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Minnesotan protests her forced ECT

Elizabeth Ellis, a 67-year-old retired teacher, is publicly protesting her involuntary ECT.  She says she's been shocked more than a dozen times against her will since last September.  Andy Mannix reports in City Pages.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sainfort and Jacko reprimanded for "minor infraction"

In Georgia, Professors Francois Sainfort and Julie Jacko face felony indictments for fraud and a potential 165 years and 115 years in prison, respectively.  At the University of Minnesota, that means they get a reprimand for a "minor infraction."  Read the letter of reprimand here. (Hat tip to Bill Gleason at the Periodic Table.)

The lock-outs

The always brilliant Tommy Craggs, on the impending professional sports lock-outs.  Read it here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pfizer: Bioethics Sponsor and Felon

Pfizer may be a three-time felon, and yes, it may have recently paid the largest criminal fine in American history.  But that doesn't mean that ethicists should be ashamed to take Pfizer money.  That's why we're all waiting to see who will be awarded the new $100,000 Pfizer Fellowships in Bioethics.  Pfizer encourages its Bioethics Fellows to explore the ethical issues that arise in the everyday practice of medicine, such as conflict of interest.  (This is not a joke.)  The winners will be announced on April 15. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Premack Award to Molly Priesmeyer

On Saturday, the Minnesota Journalism Center announced the winners of the 2010 Premack Awards for Public Journalism. Among the winners are Twin Cities Daily Planet reporter Molly Priesmeyer for her September 2010 story "Who pulled the plug on University of Minnesota's Troubled Waters?"  Read about it here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bioethics on the chopping block

The Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele University is about to get the axe, as is the Department of Philosophy.  Read about it here.

Dying to grow taller

What would you be willing to pay to have your child grow to be a couple of inches taller?  Is it worth a possible 30 percent increased risk of death?  The FDA says it's up to the parents.  Read the Chicago Tribune op-ed by Alice Dreger.

Pro Publica Literary Journalism Event

Pro Publica sponsored a brilliant forum on long-form storytelling last week, featuring This American Life’s Ira Glass, The New Yorker’s David Remnick, Frontline’s Raney Aronson-Rath, and ProPublica’s Stephen Engelberg.  It was moderated by Need to Know’s Alison Stewart.  You can watch it here. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Dark Side of Industry-Funded Drug Trials

Naomi Freundlich writes about the suicide of Dan Markingson in an AstraZeneca clinical trial at the University of Minnesota.

Jesse's Legacy

An interview with Paul Gelsinger, whose son was killed in a gene therapy trial at the University of Pennsylvania eleven years ago.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Augustus Owsley Stanley III

"There is a bit of Owsley in me," writes Seth Schiesel.  His tribute is in the NY Times.

Military psychiatrists complicit in possible torture of WikiLeaks suspect

"A leading group of doctors in the US concerned with the ethical treatment of patients has questioned the role of military psychiatrists in Quantico, Virginia, where the suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning is being subjected to harsh treatment that some call torture."

"The advocacy body Physicians for Human Rights has sounded the alarm over the role of psychiatrists at the brig in the marine base where Manning has been in custody since last July."

The Guardian reports.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Another University of Minnesota professor under fire for ethical violations

Professor Dennis Polla was investigated by the federal government for misappropriating research funds.  The University of Minnesota was forced to pay $812,494 in 2002 to settle the investigation.  An internal university report says that his work for the federal government was "financially mismanaged, scientifically unsuccessful and deficient in progress reports.  Yet Polla remains on the university payroll -- despite working full-time for
Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) in Maryland.  He is the second-highest paid faculty member in his department.  Read about it in the Strib.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We're Number 4!

The University of Minnesota has the 4th most corrupt athletic program in the country.  Or so these people say, anyway.

MDMA Therapy

Jessica Winter has a great piece in O Magazine -- yes, O Magazine -- about her investigation of the use of MDMA (commonly called "Ecstasy") in psychotherapy. Ms. Winter even took one for the team by trying a dose for herself. Winter's article makes clear what a travesty it is that even investigating the possible benefits of this drug is a felony. Read it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Call it a sabbatical

"Both professors face a string of felony charges. If convicted, Sainfort could serve up to 165 years, and Jacko 115 years behind bars."  The City Pages reports on the latest University of Minnesota scandal.  Margaret Soltan comments, caustically.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

To be or not to be

"Got a problem? Tweet it, crowdsource it, answer it and move on.  Next question." 

Send your ethical questions to The Ethicator.

Why book publishers say no

"It’s not something I enjoy; I hate being the bearer of bad news, I don’t like letting people down, and I realize that even the most unappealing or otherwise unsuitable proposal represents someone’s attempt to become a published author – a worthy and wonderful dream if you ask me. But the fact remains: We say no a lot. Here’s my personal list of the most common reasons why."

A Penguin editor explains.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How the FDA got the Markingson case wrong

More on the suicide of Dan Markingson in a University of Minnesota clinical trial.  The article is in the Hastings Center Bioethics Forum, with links to the FDA inspection report and court documents.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mary Weiss responds to VP Tim Mulcahy

Mary Weiss, whose son committed suicide in an industry-sponsored drug study at the University of Minnesota, speaks out in the Minnesota Daily.  Read it here.

City Pages comments here.