Biomedical conflicts of interest: a defence of the sequestration thesis--learning from the cases of Nancy Olivieri and David Healy

Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (1):8-24 (2004)

Abstract

No discussion of academic freedom, research integrity, and patient safety could begin with a more disquieting pair of case studies than those of Nancy Olivieri and David Healy. The cumulative impact of the Olivieri and Healy affairs has caused serious self examination within the biomedical research community. The first part of the essay analyses these recent academic scandals. The two case studies are then placed in their historical context—that context being the transformation of the norms of science through increasingly close ties between research universities and the corporate world. After a literature survey of the ways in which corporate sponsorship has biased the results of clinical drug trials, two different strategies to mitigate this problem are identified and assessed: a regulatory approach, which focuses on managing risks associated with industry funding of university research, and a more radical approach, the sequestration thesis, which counsels the outright elimination of corporate sponsorship. The reformist approach is criticised and the radical approach defended

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Author's Profile

Ashley Schafer
University of Toronto

References found in this work

Science, Truth, and Democracy.A. Bird - 2003 - Mind 112 (448):746-749.
Throwing a Bone to the Watchdog.Carl Elliott - 2001 - Hastings Center Report 31 (2):9-12.
Good Science or Good Business?David Healy - 2000 - Hastings Center Report 30 (2):19-22.

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