Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Latest on the Markingson Case at U-Minn

I have previously reported on this case:
http://brodyhooked.blogspot.com/2011/03/good-summary-of-markingson-case-at-u.html
http://brodyhooked.blogspot.com/2010/04/u-minnesota-evading-responsibility-for.html
http://brodyhooked.blogspot.com/2010/12/u-minn-bioethicists-call-for.html
http://brodyhooked.blogspot.com/2010/08/continuing-our-all-carl-elliott-issue.html

A recent update is provided by Dr. Judy Stone on the Scientific American blog:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/molecules-to-medicine/2013/03/12/a-clinical-trial-and-suicide-leave-many-questions-part-5-the-case-of-the-mysteriously-appearing-documents/

My own views on this case are very nicely summarized by Dr. Stone so I will simply quote her conclusion:

It is difficult in this case, as with much of life, to tell with total certainty “where truth lies.” The reluctance on the part of the Office of Research, the Office of the President, the Office of the Counsel, and the Board of Regents of UMN to fully and transparently examine new evidence is extremely troubling, though. Without such a transparent examination, there is no guarantee that the clinical investigational staff did not commit breaches of research ethics and of law, and has not continued to do so, perhaps putting other vulnerable patients at undue risk.


When I started reading about this case, it was as an academic endeavor, seeking a case study for my blog. I did (and do not) not know any of the parties involved. Yet the more I have learned, the more outraged I have become.

I am angered by the thinly veiled threats towards Dr. Elliott (e.g., Mr. Rotenberg’s “What is the faculty’s collective role in addressing factually incorrect attacks on particular University faculty research activities?”

I am saddened by what appears to me to be violations of the trust of vulnerable patients and of research ethics. As I have become immersed in the case, it has become clear that it provides a lifetime of study and discussion about what not to do during the course of a clinical trial. It is also clear to me that more patients than Mr. Markingson likely were harmed at the UMN by: enrolling participants with contested ability to consent; having financial incentives that encourage keeping someone on a trial when it appears they are not responding well; approving and supporting protocols that have seemingly disproportionate risks....
And, unfortunately, it appears that UMN believes, as do many other institutions, that protecting itself from scandal and its consequences comes first and foremost and that, like the big banks, that it is too big to be punished.

All I would add to this apt summary is that U-Minn appears to have adopterd the strategy of stonewalling, and by doing so successfully evading initial investigation into their possible lapses. Then, as more and more information accumulates that there really was a fire to explain the smoke, they continue to point back to the fact that the initial, incomplete investigations exonerated the U. as a reason not to inquire into any new concerns--as well as to keep insisting all this is water under the bridge. Meanwhile they continue to place pressure on Dr. Carl Elliott as the faculty member who has refused to be silenced.

Dr. Elliott informs me that the latest step on behalf of the Markingson family is an on-line petition, which can be found here:
https://www.change.org/petitions/governor-mark-dayton-of-minnesota-investigate-psychiatric-research-misconduct-at-the-university-of-minnesota-2

A brief reminder as to what all this is doing on this blogsite. The initial charge against U-Minn is that their psychiatry department was getting a lucrative grant from a drug company to do an investigation of several antipsychotics, and to "prove" that the company's drug was the best. The company complained that the U was enrolling subjects too slowly and therefore threatened to end the grant. Under this pressure, it appears, a person who could not give valid consent was enrolled in the trial, was kept on one of the drugs despite continuing to deteriorate, with protests from his mother repeatedly ignored, till he finally committed suicide. If the facts are as alleged, and as further supported by information subsequently released, this seems an especially egregious case of academic physicians being distracted from their duties toward patient care and medical science by the lure of industry funding.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

great points altogether, you simply won a brand new
reader. What could you suggest about your submit that you just made a few days ago?
Any sure?

My web-site ... louis vuitton bags on sale
Also see my web site :: cheap louis vuitton bags

Anonymous said...

Hurrah, that's what I was exploring for, what a stuff! present here at this web site, thanks admin of this website.

my web-site; next page
my web page: click

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
I mean, what you say is valuable and everything.
However just imagine if you added some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, "pop"!

Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this blog could certainly be one of the very best in its
field. Amazing blog!
My webpage: more

Anonymous said...

Hi would you mind letting me know which web host you're utilizing? I've loaded
your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this blog loads
a lot quicker then most. Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a honest
price? Thanks, I appreciate it!

Feel free to surf to my page: screen next

Anonymous said...

Hi there to every one, it's genuinely a nice for me to pay a quick visit this site, it consists of valuable Information.

my blog post more about

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.51soboo.com]百家乐论坛,百家乐园,百家乐技巧[/url]


百家乐论坛

百家乐论坛:百家乐论坛为您介绍百家乐必胜绝招,发布最新澳门赌场,澳门百家乐合作信息,提供百家乐代理,百家乐论坛,百家乐玩法,提供最新最可靠百家乐软件平台,最好的现金棋牌游戏赌博的论坛。

百家乐论坛,百家乐园,百家乐技巧,百家乐技术交流,百家乐在线试玩的网址,欢迎您来我们百家乐网站参观试玩

Anonymous said...

Can I just say what a relief to find someone that genuinely knows what they are discussing on the net.
You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
More people really need to read this and understand this side of your story.
It's surprising you aren't more popular since you certainly possess the gift.



Here is my web page - know more

Anonymous said...

These are actually enormous ideas in about blogging. You have touched some pleasant
factors here. Any way keep up wrinting.

Here is my blog post :: graduate certificates online

m rana said...



Complete online medical assistant programs are now available. The accredited
medical assistant program is online using distance education technology for
medical assistant course. Students can study online to earn an accredited
and certified medical assistant certificate.

medical assistant
medical assistant classes
medical assistant certification
medical assistant programs
medical assistant school
medical assistant courses
medical assistant courses online
medical assistant classes online

Anonymous said...

We on this site can be downloaded http://firefoxik.ru/, http://firefoxik.ru/skachat-firefox.html

Anonymous said...



Stοp by my blοg post ... http://greenbeancoffeenow.com

Anonymous said...

That is a very good tip especially to those
fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate
information… Thank you for sharing this one.
A must read article!

Stop by my web-site :: michael kors watches

Anonymous said...

Time ԁеcaу: Option traԁer 247 has been challengіng.
It was nice to have sales of 318 bіlliοn.

Also viѕit my website; lnkstts.com

Anonymous said...

слушать [url=http://tfile.name/music/Пикник+У+Шамана+Три+Руки/0/]Пикник У Шамана Три Руки[/url]