Thursday, April 25, 2013

Shamed but not guilty?

The petition to investigate the psychiatric research scandal at the U has gathered influential supporters from all over the world, but not at the U.  Why not?  Here's one possible answer.


  1. Perhaps U of M faculty don't have a lot of interest in helping someone who claim to be ashamed of their employer, yet happily keep cashing the paychecks. Beyond that, maybe they see the writing on the wall. The governor loves the University. Heck...the guy was trying to engineer a U of M takeover of Fairview. Clearly his interest in rehashing a decades-old case is less than helping the U of M move forward. Perhaps you should take a similar approach.

  2. The University of Minnesota has a long history and reputation for turning a blind eye on clinical trial misconduct. In the past on a few occasions it had enough sense of shame and awareness that it was wrong, and that they would take pains to make sure that there was at least some plausible deniability. That changed with the death of Dan Markingson. Not only have they denied any wrongdoing, they feel no shame in hiding behind legal immunity, and it’s as though they even take pride in it as a sign of their toughness.
    This is all because the Office of the General Counsel and Dean of the Medical School have created a culture of impunity within the University and specifically its psychiatry department. In the case of Dan Markingson, not only did the treating physician/principal investigator not suffer any consequences, the department chair was shielded from liability and even received verbal promotions from the Dean of the Medical School.
    But there is a price to be paid for this condoning of clinical trial misconduct and the creation of a culture of impunity where lower-level people such as the study coordinator are given carte blanche to violate the law in the conducting of clinical experiments on human subjects.
    Such a culture has certain legal consequences. Under the doctrine of command responsibility, when an organization such as the University of Minnesota involves itself in unethical and clinical trial misconduct and cover-up or fails to punish or discipline those who engaged in that conduct, criminal liability passes to the senior officers of University. The chair of psychiatry has sold the University quite a load of goods...too bad the U didn't heed the old warning...buyer beware.