Friday, March 7, 2014

A Brief Note on Filing Complaints

I know it seems futile.  You spend hours, days, even weeks preparing a complaint about research abuse at Fairview or the University of Minnesota.  But when you finally send it off, the complaint disappears into a black hole.  You get no response, or maybe a note telling you that your complaint won't be investigated, or even worse, an aggressive phone call from a university attorney, intended to terrify you into submission.  After a few years of this kind of treatment you give up, or decide to concentrate your efforts elsewhere. 

Believe me, I understand. I've sent complaints to every office and administrator imaginable. For the past two months I've been sending polite messages to Fairview president Carolyn Wilson, asking to meet.  She just gives me the brush-off.  Only a few days ago Leigh Turner and I sent off yet another letter to the university IRB, asking it to investigate all psychiatric studies involving Jean Kenney. Will the IRB do a serious investigation?  I doubt it.

But that doesn't mean the complaints are futile.  When the full extent of this scandal is finally revealed, it may well be that university and Fairview officials have been covering up research misconduct for years.  A scandal like this could not happen without many people intentionally turning a blind eye to wrongdoing.  Every seemingly futile complaint generates a paper trail implicating the people who have refused to do their jobs.

So don't despair. Don't stop sending those letters and emails. Keep the pressure on. There will be justice someday.


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