A look at competing claims over Markingson reviews

The recent campus vigil and remarks by former Gov. Arne Carlson over investigations into the 2004 death of University of Minnesota research patient Dan Markingson have dredged up a long-running question about the case:

Has it ever been adequately investigated?

The U has stated repeatedly that it has. When asked to lay out its case, a spokesman sent me this.


Critics such as U of M bioethics professor Carl Elliott say that’s not an accurate portrayal.

He points to a November analysis by Trudo Lemmens and Shannon Gibson of the University of Toronto of the reviews. It says they suffer from a number of insufficiencies:


  • thomas hussman

    Can you imagine the conversations that go on in the homes of the doctors who work and teach at the UMN Medical School.

    There is no doubt that some controversial words are spoken at the dinner tables. It probably goes like this: The esteemed professional arrives home late because of a patient problem, and the spouse inquires. The conversation moves into the discussion about this or that drug test, and then the opening occurs. “Oh, by the way honey, what about that suicide case, you know that Seroquel one?” The doctor grits his teeth, and while composing himself, and preparing an answer, the wife blurts out “what about Carl?”

    One of the children sits down and asks dad, “hey dad, how come Carl never comes over anymore?”

    Well Mark, what about Carl?

  • Chad

    Great post. Respectfully, how long until MPR gives this story its due beyond blogs?

    • afriedrich

      Chad, I think the challenge is how I — a relative newcomer to the case and to the complex medical system in general — can cover a complex story that’s essentially 10 years old. What could we report that hasn’t already been written about by news outlets and academic blogs? That’s a question I’m trying to answer, but it’ll take time. Feel free to email me if you’d like to discuss it further: afriedrich at em-pee-are-dot-org.