For four years Columbia University has knowingly performed unethical and dangerous human clinical research on patients at their PET (positron emission tomography) imaging research facility in New York, where they injected contaminated drugs into human subjects for brain research studies.
Despite the fact that Columbia University scientists knowingly performed unethical research and even falsified documents trying to hide their wrong-doing, the FDA fortunately recently caught them…red handed.
And even more fortunately, the New York Times found out about it six months later, publishing an article entitled, “Studies Halted at Brain Lab Over Impure Injections”.
What are the ramifications to Columbia University for knowingly performing four years of unsafe research on human subjects?
Not much. The only notable change was that top level scientists involved in this debacle got re-assigned….not terminated…no jail time…just reassigned. Woweeee. That is really a hardship.
Hmmmm. And we wonder why these types of unethical practices are common place and condoned in the ivory towers of the academic community?
Columbia University is not above controversy. For example, to get a competitive lead on human embryo research, they have instituted unethical practices of paying women for egg donation. Egg donation is not a procedure without serious risks, risks that many women are really not aware and risks that unfortunately have caused harmed. Again…more unethical practices and disregard for human rights and human dignity.
Columbia University receives millions of dollars of public funding to carry on their research. Columbia University also receives million of dollars from pharmaceutical companies to do their bidding on drug testing too, which coincidently, was part of this four year unethical brain research debacle mentioned above. These types of pharmaceutically-funded research arrangements, unfortunately, often cause conflicts of interests where public health and safety is left behind for commercialization and money-driven incentives.
The public is becoming more and more aware that academic institutions have too strong of monetary ties with industry which thwarts public health and safety advocacy.
And the public is beginning to question why we keep giving public funds to institutions that show blatant disregard for public health and safety, that being involved with either clinical research practices, worker safety, injured workers or human rights issues.
The public is in desperate need for research institutions that will serve public health and safety and advocate for public rights.
Perhaps it is time to rethink public funding to academic institutions that do not advocate for the public.