… in the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that the most charitable description of what’s been going on at the clubby University of Minnesota medical school would be “bizarre.”
Carl Elliot, a bioethicist, has mounted a campaign to have this case investigated, so far without success. Most who hear the story or read the book, are horrified by what happened, but it has never become the expected cause célèbre in spite of a herculean effort by Carl and Dan’s friends and family. I have a speculation about why it hasn’t caught on, ignited the fire it deserves. My speculation is based on my own internal response to the case. I think Dan’s care was outrageous, and reaches to the heart of doing clinical trials for pharmaceutical marketing rather than to answer genuine scientific questions. I question whether the trial should’ve been done at all. In the case where it was done, I’m sure that Dan didn’t belong in it. And I can’t get around thinking that his being enrolled was to meet recruitment goals. Had he chosen to stop the medication [the outcome parameter], he faced "recommitment," something he didn’t want. His mother’s desperate attempts to withdraw him were ignored.