Tag: Schizophrenia

Situational Schizophrenia

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The label of schizophrenia has a chilling ring. It carries with it the suggestion of a wrecked and wretched life. It is also a diagnosis that is notoriously difficult to shed. For this reason, the diagnosis of schizophrenia should not be applied lightly and not without a thorough understanding of the patient’s family and wider circumstances.

And That’s the News from the Department of Psychiatry

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In the business of clinical trials, the most valuable commodities are the research subjects. Filling clinical trials is hard, and filling them quickly is even harder. That’s why in 2000 a clinical investigator told the HHS Office of the Inspector General that research sponsors were looking for three things from research sites: “No. 1—rapid enrollment. No. 2 — rapid enrollment. No. 3 — rapid enrollment.”

How to Get Away with Academic Misconduct at the University of...

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In early 2009, antipsychotic fraud was making headlines.  Eli Lilly had announced in January that it would plead guilty to charges that it had...

Where Do Messages of Hopelessness in Mental Health Care Come From?

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The vast disconnect between prognosis (as predicted by mental health providers) and actual outcome (as reported by psychiatric survivors) forces us to ask the question: Why send messages of hopelessness when they are so often untrue?

The Road to Perdition

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The recent research scandals out of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry may be alarming, but they are not new. Back in the 1990s, when the university was working its way towards a crippling probation by the National Institutes of Health (for yet another episode of misconduct (this time in the Department of Surgery), the Department of Psychiatry hosted two spectacular cases of research wrongdoing, both of which resulted in faculty members being disqualified from conducting research by the FDA.

Were Research Subjects Mistreated in the CATIE Study?

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The suicide of Dan Markingson at the University of Minnesota has brought notoriety to the CAFÉ study and its site investigators, Stephen Olson and Charles Schulz. But the “corrective action” recently issued by the Minnesota Board of Social Work against the CAFÉ study coordinator, Jean Kenney, has raised another disturbing question.

Fact-Checking the General Counsel in the Markingson Case

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Ever since critics began asking questions about the death of Dan Markinson in a clinical trial at the University of Minnesota, the General Counsel for the university, Mark Rotenberg, has responded with a uniform message: the case has already been investigated many times, and no wrongdoing has ever been found. That's how Rotenberg responded to my article about the case in Mother Jones, and that's how he responded last week to the news that the Board of Social Work had issued a “corrective action” to the study coordinator for the clinical trial in which Markingson died.

The University of Minnesota was not Involved? Some Further Thoughts...

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The suicide of Dan Markingson at the University of Minnesota has brought notoriety to the CAFÉ study and its site investigators, Stephen Olson and Charles Schulz. But the “corrective action” recently issued by the Minnesota Board of Social Work against the CAFÉ study coordinator, Jean Kenney, has raised another disturbing question.

“Do We Have to Wait Until He Kills Himself or Someone...

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In the "agreement for corrective action" against CAFE study coordinator Jean Kenney last week, the Board of Social Work cited Kenney's failure to respond to "alarming voicemail messages" from family members of Dan Markingson. Presumably, the Board is referring to a message left by his mother, Mary Weiss, which warned, "Do we have to wait until he kills himself or someone else before anyone else does anything?" The failure of Kenney and Stephen Olson to take the warnings of Mary Weiss seriously has been one of the most disturbing aspects of this case. In a deposition for the lawsuit filed by Weiss, Kenney was questioned about her response. Here is an excerpt. (The initial questions come from Gale Pearson, an attorney for Mary Weiss.)

“I Was Just Following Orders”: a Seroquel Suicide, a Study Coordinator,...

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Out here in Minnesota, where the snow is gently falling, many of us are hunched over our computers, puzzling over a document just posted by the state Board of Social Work. It concerns the death of Dan Markingson (or as the document calls him, “Client #1”). Markingson, of course, was a young man under a commitment order who was coerced into a profitable Seroquel marketing study at the University of Minnesota over the objections of his mother, and whose condition spiraled downward until he committed suicide.

A Post-Racial Public Mental Health System: If Not Now, When?

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In answer to the question posed in the title to this article, probably not for a long, long time. Or perhaps more accurately, when...

Rethinking Madness: A Book Review

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“Rethinking Madness: Towards a Paradigm Shift In Our Understanding and Treatment of Psychosis” by Paris Williams, Ph.D., describes how our current mental health system...