U should move forward with review

After the death of Dan Markingson, President Eric Kaler should allow for a review of University research.

The University of Minnesota Faculty Senate passed a measure last week recommending a review of University clinical research on humans. While the measure isn’t binding, President Eric Kaler should go forward with an independent, external review to properly respond to criticism of past University research.

The measure, passed in a 67-23 vote, comes in response to the 2004 suicide of Dan Markingson, who participated in clinical trials at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. An October letter sent to the Faculty Senate from 175 international bioethicists and scholars brought the issue back to the news. Recent media attention followed the letter, including a KMSP investigation and two letters to the editor in the Minnesota Daily from outspoken critics of the University’s reaction to Markingson’s death.

University professor Naomi Scheman told the Minnesota Daily the University’s reputation is “crumbling.” The University lost a chance to be proactive regarding its reputation after the publicized Markingson case.

With so much negative attention on University research, moving forward on the measure could restore confidence in our research programs.

Though some, including University bioethicists and professors, may want more answers involving Markingson’s death, we should focus on avoiding potential tragedies and unethical behavior in the future.

Anything the University can do to prevent unfortunate circumstances like Markingson’s death is beneficial for our research programs.

While a review won’t bring Markingson back or provide additional answers to his case, it can serve as a way to improve and move on.