Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ron Paterson, former New Zealand Health and Disability Commissioner, calls for investigation of University of Minnesota research scandal

Ron Paterson receives the New Zealand Order of Merit
Ron Paterson is now Professor of Health Law and Policy at Auckland University, but for ten years he was the New Zealand Health and Disability Commissioner.  That government office was set up after the Cartright Inquiry, which investigated the most notorious research scandal in New Zealand history: the "unfortunate experiment" at Auckland Women's Hospital.  Here is Paterson's comment from the petition to investigate the University of Minnesota.

"As former Health Ombudsman in New Zealand (Health and Disability Commissioner, 2000-10) I am deeply disturbed to read of unethical behaviour by researchers and psychiatrists who enrolled Dan Markinson in a trial of antipsychotic drugs, when he was not competent to consent. It appears that evidence about potential harmful side effects of the prescribed drugs was suppressed. Dan's suicide may well be linked to the effect of the drugs he was prescribed, yet no one listened to his mother's cries for help to prevent the harm that ultimately ensued. It is now too late for Dan, but the University of Minnesota owes it to him and his mother to investigate what happened and put safeguards in places to prevent a similar tragedy happening again."

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