Suppose a university psychiatrist had been exposed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2009 for manipulating research results in an AstraZeneca Seroquel study, exposed again in 2011 by City Pages for distorting another AstraZeneca study, and had been co-investigator on a third, even more notorious AstraZeneca study in which a psychotic young man was coerced into a clinical trial over the objections of his mother and eventually committed suicide. Would you have any ethical concerns when he began recruiting subjects for yet another AstraZeneca study of Seroquel?
Not the University of Minnesota. AstraZeneca may have paid a half-billion dollars to settle federal fraud charges, but Charles Schulz is still recruiting – this time, for a clinical trial of Seroquel XR for borderline personality disorder. (The consent form can be seen here.) University administrators have consistently supported Schulz and his colleague Steven Olson throughout these controversies. (See here, here, here, and here.
I have asked my bioethics colleagues with the research ethics consultation service to look into the issue, but they have refused.