“Who Killed the Psychosis Challenge Study?”


The Fear and Loathing in Bioethics blog discusses the history of “psychosis challenge” or “symptom provocation” studies that were exposed by Robert Whitaker and Dolores Kong in the Boston Globe.

“It’s tempting to say that Whitaker and Kong killed the psychosis challenge study. Yet the researchers involved were not sanctioned, or even strongly criticized. One of them — Jeffrey Lieberman — went on to become president of the American Psychiatric Association. In this sense, at least, the psychosis challenge study fits into a larger pattern of medical research abuses. Only after the ethical controversy is far in the past is it safe for academic medicine to admit to wrongs and injustice.  With psychosis challenge studies, apparently, we have not yet reached that point.”

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