DL's ancestral home in Minneapolis - 331 Club
by Steve Timmer
Jun 1, 2014, 9:30 PM

Prof. Bill Gleason Speaks at Drinking Liberally

A Call for An Independent Investigation of the Markingson Case at the University of Minnesota

Bill Gleason is a retired professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He and many others at the University and elsewhere are trying to get an independent investigation of the case of Dan Markingson. Here’s what Professor Gleason says about the case:

Suppose your mentally ill son or daughter was impressed into a clinical trial under threat of involuntary commitment. His or her condition deteriorated to the point where you called his care team at a local public university and left the message: “Do we have to wait until he kills himself or someone else before anyone does anything?”

About a week later he was dead, having committed suicide by stabbing himself in the abdomen as well as nearly decapitating himself.  Later, when a lawsuit for negligence in the matter was dismissed – for reasons of sovereign immunity rather than exculpation – the University threatened a lawsuit for $57,000 unless you agreed not to appeal the decision.

This is the short version of the position Mary Weiss, Dan Markingson’s mother, found herself in when he died while enrolled in a University of Minnesota clinical trial.  Many important issues are raised by this case, including the idea of informed consent and the issue of whether a public university has moral rather than just legal obligations, Many people, including Governor Carlson, have called for an outside investigation. Literally thousands of U of M alums, citizens of Minnesota, and academics all around the world have petitioned Governor Dayton to call for an independent investigation.  These efforts as well as the current status of the Markingson case will be reviewed.

If you’d like to read up on the case, Professor Gleason recommends:

The Deadly Corruption of Clinical Trials, by Carl Elliot in Mother Jones.

Dan Markingson had delusions. His mother feared that the worst would happen. Then it did. by Paul Tosto and Jeremy Olson in the Pioneer Press. This work won the Premack award from the University of Minnesota for investigative journalism.

Remember, Drinking Liberally in Minneapolis meets on Thursday evenings from six to nine PM at the 331 Club, 331 13th Avenue N.E. We start gathering at six, and Professor Gleason will speak at seven PM.

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