By Danielle,

A Whistle-blower in Medical Research Talks

6/20/2013 DK 0 Comments

Even though I thought I was pretty knowledgeable in the way that the world operates (to some extent), that is, how some businesses and corporations may thrive through frauds, I have never even imagined that the same kind of secret operations would take place in the research fields. For one, that is because I study psychology as my major and I am constantly reminded of the ethics and reliability of the research - in the way that the participants are recruited, the study is carried out, and the results are analysed and reported. Second, I have never thought of medical research in business terms.

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However, as it turns out, medical research is as competitive as any other business. A highly respected institution gets good reputations from their research findings, and in order to keep up with their reputation and produce more (favourable) study results with more government funding, there may be some corrupted individuals whose interests are not in the right place. Apparently, it is not at all rare (apparently!) to find researchers who would, either voluntarily or hesitantly, tweak their results in order to show favourable progresses and outcomes. This could put our knowledge in certain areas many many years back, and we cannot rely on all the data that we can find. And, of course, it most significantly means that some patients/participants whose lives were devoted to some of the research areas may have been fooled and experienced no real progress.

This is all explained (anonymously, although his identity was approved by the moderators) in a Reddit forum by someone who ended up surrendering to his morals when he found out the dark secrets of his institution and, in the end, lost his job, career and friends.

At the moment, I am rather shocked at the fact that this is the reality, and the fact that I had never considered it, and my shock and moral outrage are expressed in the sub-Reddit by some of the other users' comments. Although there is a possibility that none of this is true, when considering the unethical practices that go on in other areas, it doesn't sound too far off reality.

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