Thirteen University of Minnesota alumni working in medical ethics at other universities have published an editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune calling on President Eric Kaler to investigate the suicide of Dan Markingson.

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler

They write:

Unfortunately, rather than working to be accountable and transparent, the university administration has taken a relentlessly defensive posture — hiding behind its lawyers, targeting its critics and distorting the facts.

The alumni go on to write:

Yet University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler appears intent on continuing the university’s efforts to avoid scrutiny. In a recent interview with the Minnesota Daily, Kaler said that the inquiry will not look at Markingson’s death at all, but rather will focus solely on “what we are doing now and what we’re going to do moving forward.”

Such a limited inquiry would defeat the purposes of the Senate’s action. Although the resolution does call for an inquiry into the university’s current practices, the Senate left no doubt that the aims of that investigation included resolving “questions [that] continue to be raised about the policies and procedures followed in the Markingson case” and addressing the harm to the university’s reputation “in consequence of this tragic case and its aftermath.”

Any inquiry that merely considers the university’s forms and policies without examining the experiences of actual research subjects would only further erode confidence in the institution and compound the harm to its reputation.

Read the rest of the editorial here.

Will the University of Minnesota whitewash a research subject’s death?

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