A Petition for Change in Memory of Dan Markingson

Posted by Emily Smith Beitiks May 8, 2013
Biopolitical Times
Today marks the nine-year anniversary of 26-year-old Dan Markingson's premature death. His story, covered previously here at Biopolitical Times, illustrates the medical-industrial complex at its worst: greedy university professors who put pharma profits before their patients' well-being, combined with ongoing institutional support from the University of Minnesota.

Many alumnae, myself included, have declared our disappointment at our alma mater. And recently, a number of important people of international reach have been motivated by Markingson's story and are demanding justice on his behalf. A change.org petition, initiated by Markingson's friend Mike Howard, implores Minnesota Governor Mike Dayton to investigate the case. Despite ongoing efforts by the U of M to bury the issue, advocates for Markingson continue to demand answers and are gaining increasing support.

High-profile signatures have already come from:
  • three former editors of the New England Journal of Medicine
  • Susan Reverby, PhD, who uncovered the Guatemalan syphilis scandal.
  • a former editor of the British Medical Journal
  • Vera Sharav, the founder of the Alliance for Human Research Protection
  • and many other prominent bioethicists, health practitioners, academics, and community members (see the list here).
I encourage Biopolitical Times readers to learn more about Markingson's story. If you do, you will almost certainly want to sign the petition.

It’s important to bring attention to this issue to help prevent further cases like it. But equally important, the petition helps honor the memory of Dan Markingson, a real person, not just a symbol, whose family is hurting deeply today.

Previously on Biopolitical Times: