Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Update: The University of Minnesota Psychiatry Research Ethics Scandal

This is to update a little bit on the situation with regard to the disgraceful twists and ugly and very possible bona fide cover-up activities and general lack of transparency of the University of Minnesota management to avoid a real investigation of the tragic, Astra Zeneca sponsored psychiatry drug trials that caused several suicides and that raise a number of serious queries about irregularities and abuse, such as possibly falsified consent forms. I have reported about this increasingly shameful affair here, here and here.

A petition to the governor of Minnesota to launch an independent investigation of the University of Minnesota psychiatry department has assembled almost 3 000 names – many of which are prominent medical researchers or practitioners and bioethicists from all over the world, who are baffled by the University's attitude and actions – and on Facebook, a Community Alliance for Ethics in Minnesota Psychiatry page has been launched.

Today, Carl Elliott, medical ethicist at the very same university who relentlessly has been pressing for release of vital documents and investigations, summarises where the whole thing currently stands in this blog post at Huffington Post. Carl's final judgement of his own university is not uplifting, and you can read or follow links to descriptions of the latest disgraceful dance-steps of the management to avoid exposure of what for every such move just keeps looking dirtier and dirtier:

In the 23 years I have been teaching and writing about the ethics of medical research, I have never come across a case of abuse this outrageous. Nor have I ever encountered university officials so aggressive in stonewalling legitimate investigation and intimidating critics.
I will, of course, continue to report on the future developments with regard to this business. In the meantime, if you haven't already done so, you may inspect and consider signing the petition to the Minnesota governor for an independent investigation of University of Minnesota Psychiatry.