Nurse with Secret Recordings Exposes More about University of Minnesota Research Scandal

Rob Wipond
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A senior nurse who has been involved for 22 years with the University of Minnesota’s psychiatric research program is accusing the university of a cover-up in the case of the death of patient Dan Markingson, reports Fox9 news.

Markingson was in a severely compromised psychological state when he was coerced into a drug trial during which he committed suicide, according to investigations and writings on the topic by bioethics professor and MIA Blogger Carl Elliott. Lead psychiatrist Stephen Olson and U of M representatives reportedly said during subsequent investigations that no one ever expressed concerns to them about Markingson’s state.

Now nurse Niki Gjere, who was involved in that drug trial and with Markingson, told Fox9 that she herself and a number of other hospital staff repeatedly expressed concerns, including to Olson and others.

Fox9 asked Gjere if she felt the university’s investigations into the Markingson case were thorough. “No,” she responded. “I’ve never been asked about Dan Markingson.” Therefore, she said, she herself started reaching out to share her story with senior U of M representatives, but each told Fox9 they did not recollect any such conversations with her, until it was revealed that Gjere had recorded them.

“I want somebody to pay attention and really investigate and really evaluate what happened then, and what’s happening now,” Gjere told Fox9. She said nurses routinely feel “badgered” into finding patients for drug trials. Gjere said she doesn’t have “any trust” in psychiatric research at the university.

INVESTIGATORS: Nurse questions integrity of U of M drug researchers (Fox9, November 25, 2014)

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Rob Wipond
Rob Wipond is a freelance journalist who writes frequently on the interfaces between psychiatry, civil rights, the justice system, and social change. His articles have been nominated for three Canadian National Magazine Awards, nine Western Magazine Awards, and five Webster Awards for journalism. He is currently working on a book about people's experiences of forced psychiatric treatment, and can be contacted through his website.

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