Tuesday, March 19, 2013

University of Minnesota alumni speak out about the psychiatric research scandal

From the petition by Mary Weiss and Mike Howard to investigate psychiatric research at the U:

"I went to the U of MN and am appalled by what I've read about this case."
 --Peter Danbury

"How shameful for UMN, my alma mater."
-- Susan Barrott

"I am a proud UM alumna (PhD 2004). The actions of a few can do seemingly irreparable harm to an institution that otherwise has made and continues to make honorable and significant contributions to the state and beyond. Please do not allow a powerful few at UM commit violations of BASIC ethics and academic standards unchecked! Please do not allow this harm to the reputation of our university, as has the Board of Trustees and other powerful players allowed at Penn State."
--Rebecca Knowles

"I am a U of MN alumna and want it to do the right thing now, especially since it appears much wrong has been done."
-- Patricia Cavanaugh

"I was trained as a lawyer at the U of M and have practiced as a psychotherapist. I am simply appalled at this story and I want the Governor to get to the bottom of it.
-- Medora Woods

"The University needs to do the right thing. I am but a graduate and an employee of the University and I am appalled that they aren't investigating this."
-- Lynda Anderson

"Trying to get an adult child the mental health care they need is already difficult for parents, and in this case, the actions of the U of M are egregious. As a U of M alumni, as well as a parent who has had to deal with behaviorial health issues with family and friends, I urge Gov. Dayton to please appoint the independent committee and spare other families the grief Dan Markingson's family has experienced. The University's legal team should also be ashamed of their behavior in further victimizing this family."
-- Nancy Belusky

"As an alum, I am concerned about the U's whitewash on this issue."
-- Randy Schubring

"I earned my master's degree at the University's School of Public Health. I will not give money to this institution unless and until they investigate this potential misconduct."
-- David Dobmeyer

"I have a Ph.D. from the U. and regularly conduct research in the US and internationally. This type of activity is not only a potentially a gross violation of the rights of the victim, here, it also sends the message that the U of MN, Minnesota, and people associated with either come from a place where we don't hold our researchers to bare minimum ethical and legal standards."
-- Greg Vinson


"I am an alumnus of the U of M, and I expect ethical behavior of this institution."
-- Brin Petersen

"I am a researcher and a U of MN alum (PhD 2004). I strongly believe people should have the right to decide to participate in research....but that means they can not be coerced or abused. Fraud and unethical practices research hurt us all. Please require this investigation and support stiff penalties for unethical behavior."
--Annette Totten

"I am a U of MN alum (who works in biomedical ethics) and believe an investigation is needed for the sake of the university's trustworthiness."
-- Barbara Koenig

"I graduated from Minnesota decades ago and have always believed that my U was a great institution. The ethical violations I perceive sadden me. It is time for an investigation, corrective action if necessary so that all of us can be proud of our U again."
-- Liz Gelbmann


"As a medical researcher and a member of an Institutional Review Board charged with overseeing the welfare of research participants, the facts of this case are very disturbing. This was/is not my alma mater's finest hour."
--  Dmitri Drekonja
 
"I am a full-time employee and part-time student at the U of M. I am also a huge advocate for mental health services. What this University is trying to cover up makes me sick. Someone needs to be held accountable. This needs to be made an example of."
-- Elliot Grosse

"Attended U of MN Medical School. then U of MN Psychiatry Residency. Ashamed of the Psychiatry Department. Have been in private practice since 1977. Have seen first hand the hijacking of Psychiatry by BigPharma."
-- David Bransford

"I am a graduate (CLA, 1981) and ashamed of the way the University continues to handle this tragic case. According to the Board of Regents, Minnesota is committed “to the advancement of learning and the search for truth...." Let the whole story about Dan Markingson and the clinical trial come to light. The protection of research subjects is a matter of great public import that demands public accountability."
  -- Joseph Davis

"I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota and want to be proud of my school, but following this case has made me deeply ashamed. Minnesota owes much more to Mary Weiss than this investigation, but for now, it's the least we can do."
 -- Emily Beitiks

 "Being a UMN grad and having worked at Riverside years ago I have very vivid recall on how patients were being recruited for clinical studies no matter what their current situation was or diagnosis. I witnessed first-hand what so-called psychiatric research was all about. There is no way that the data collected in some of those studies had any scientific validity. From what I've heard and read about the Markingson case it was business as usual at the UMN department of psychiatry."
 -- Cory Winter

"I am a University of Minnesota alumn, and I am ashamed of my alma mater right now."
 -- Jessie Bennett

"I'm a University of Minnesota alum and I'm outraged by the school's response to this scandal. UMN researchers effectively forced a mentally ill and dangerous young man into a clinical trial -- over his mother's objections – and he then killed himself, just as his mother had warned. There is substantial evidence of multiple forms of misconduct, some of which are felonies. The trial's coordinator has been censured. The Minnesota legislature passed a law to avoid some of these exploitative practices in the future. Yet when called upon to investigate the conduct of its own employees, the University's response amounts to "Why would we do that? We've already gotten away with this!"

"To call this merely shameful would be wholly inadequate. There must be a thorough and independent investigation of the University's treatment of Dan Markingson, its conduct in related litigation, and its attempts to intimidate critics into silence. If, as it appears, University employees committed criminal acts, they should be prosecuted. And if the University's counsel withheld documents and/or knowingly produced altered or faked documents in litigation, those attorneys should be disbarred."
-- Matt Lamkin

"As a University of Minnesota faculty member and alum, I consider this situation to be disgraceful. We must look into the matter fairly and expeditiously. And then we must assure that it never happens again."
-- Bill Gleason

 "An independent investigation has now become absolutely necessary. The scandal is shameful. The response of the administration of the University of Minnesota has been even more shameful. By the way, I did my postdoctoral fellowship in bioethics at the University of Minnesota."
-- Jing-Bao Nie

 "As an alumnus of the University of Minnesota and a former Student Representative to the Board of Regents, I believe strongly that the University has an obligation to conduct itself in the most ethical way possible. My own investigations into the matter of the Markingson case and the CAFE trial indicate that there were serious ethical lapses on the part of the University and especially the Department of Psychiatry. Further documentation by my friend Carl Elliott, one of the premier bioethicists in America, have convinced me that an outside investigation is necessary to remedy serious structural problems with the relationship between the University and industry in conducting scientific research. A man has died; a mother grieves; and I cannot sit idly by and do nothing as a community I care about - the University of Minnesota - does nothing to make this right. I urge Governor Dayton to launch an investigation to help bring this matter to an ethical conclusion."
-- Matt McGeachy

"As a medical social scientist and as an alum of the U-Minn (1972), I am concerned about the appropriate protection of research subjects as well as supporting the integrity of colleagues who raise serious questions about possible ethical lapses in research."
-- Donald Pollack

"Because when I was obtaining the clinical experience a bioethicist needs, I spent a lot of time with people who were mentally challenged, and I learned that their vulnerabilities need to be redressed, not exploited. And because I have two graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota, I would like to be proud of the institution that granted those degrees."
-- Barry Hoffmaster

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