Thursday, May 08, 2008
BLOGSCAN - LSD and the Corruption of Medicine
On the Scientific Misconduct blog, Dr AubreyBlumsohn has a series of posts (here, here, and here) about a case he considers a major precursor to some of the problems we often discuss: research misconduct, conflicts of interest, and secrecy involving government, foundations, pharmaceutical corporations, teaching hospitals and medical schools, and doctors. The case is not one I would have thought about in this regard. It is about how the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) conducted clandestine testing on uninformed, often civilian subjects of psychedelic drugs such as LSD over 30 years ago, under the MK-ULTRA code-name among others. What is particularly relevant, and not widely known, is how the agency funneled funding through not-for-profit foundations, some generally well reputed; how the funds went to prestigious academic medical institutions; how large pharmaceutical corporations cooperated by providing the drugs; and how much of the research was done by well-known academic physicians and researchers.