Investigating Research and Accessing Reproductive Material
Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (2014) 11:11–19
Posted: 22 Oct 2018
Date Written: October 18, 2018
Dan Markingson was acutely psychotic when University of Minnesota psychiatrists enrolled him in 2004 into the local arm of a controversial multisite CAFÉ clinical trial, an AstraZeneca-sponsored comparative study of three of the newer neuroleptic drugs. He had been repeatedly judged incompetent to make his own treatment decisions—including as late as two days before enrolling in the study—and was involuntarily committed after making delusional threats to his mother. But his commitment was suspended by a “stay of commitment order” from a district court judge that allowed him to leave the hospital under court-imposed conditions, a key condition being that he had to follow the treatment instructions of his treating psychiatrist, Dr. Olson. Shortly after the stay of commitment order, Dr. Olson proposed that Markingson participate in the clinical trial (of which Olson was the lead investigator at the Minnesota site). Markingson was surprisingly assessed as competent to consent to participate in this trial.Seventeen days after his enrolment in the trial, he moved to a halfway house. His mother, Mary Weiss, believing his condition was deteriorating, attempted repeatedly to get her son out of the study. Notes from a social worker and an occupational therapist also suggested that he was not doing well while in the trial.At one point, Weiss explicitly warned the research team that her son was in serious danger of killing himself. Her warnings were ignored. On May 8, 2004, Markingson committed a violent suicide.
Keywords: investigating research, reproductive material, suicide
JEL Classification: K00, K32, K39, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation