Friday, February 3, 2017

Look who's back

The past is never dead here at the University of Minnesota, at least not as long as the administration keep resurrecting it. You might think that the best way to put a scandal behind you is to apologize, admit your mistakes, and pledge that it won't happen again. But that's just not the way we do it here. That would show weakness. You must never admit a mistake. It would give people the wrong idea.

That's why psychiatrist and bioethicist Paul Appelbaum has been invited to the U to speak about research ethics next month. Appelbaum was one of the expert witnesses hired by the university's legal team to testify on its behalf in the Dan Markingson scandal. Unlike most ethicists who looked at the case, Appelbaum saw no ethical problems with the way Markingson was treated -- or at least, that's what he was planning to testify (for a fee, of course.)  Here's what Susan Du writes in City Pages:

In his 2007 testimony, Appelbaum said the university was blameless, that its researchers complied with federal law and did not violate bioethics standards. He said it was normal for physicians to recruit patients into their own studies.

He cast doubt on whether Markingson was really too vulnerable to consent because federal regulations on the subject used the precise words “mentally disabled,” and he testified that international human research codes adopted as a result of Nazi experimentation had no binding on the University of Minnesota.

Next month Appelbaum will be speaking at the university's annual public relations event  designed to demonstrate how much progress we have made in protecting research subjects. It's on March 8. Save the date.

No comments:

Post a Comment