December 21: U doctor on ethics panel was disciplined

  • Article by: MAURA LERNER, JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY and JANET MOORE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 21, 2008 - 7:14 AM

Leo Furcht, who is helping to write rules for the Med School, was reprimanded in 2004 for steering a $501,000 grant to his company.

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ttorbesDec. 20, 08 9:44 PM

Certainly conflicts of interests with doctors is an issue of concern nationally. But who better to fix the system than someone who has had experience with its flaws? A country that relies on private industry to finance so much of its research has to have these kinds of interaction and it sounds like the doctor being dragged through the mud in this news story is actually one of the good guys.

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wbgleasonDec. 20, 0811:46 PM

Are you reading the same article I am? Dr. Furcht apparently took money from Baxter that was supposed to be going to the University and funneled it into his company. He had to give it all back, you'll note AND he made about 9.5 million dollars on the deal. There is no way that someone with a documented history of violating conflict of interest policies should then be chairing a committee on the matter. Someone's moral compass is demagnetized.

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porcupine12Dec. 21, 08 4:11 AM

Perhaps we should make Bernie Madoff head of the SEC since he knows "what to look for." At least put him on the board. Simply put, Dr. Furcht was dishonest, deceitful and bordered on mischief since it brought discredit to a university. This brings up another even more troubling question. Here we see how an institution protects one of thier own. Protects thier "craft" if you will. By minimizing its consequence among themselves shows that it is more widespread than we realize, he's worth more to their craft than applying justice or he's an embarrasment to an instituion that has just asked for more state money or all of these things. Either way, we can still ask the question: How much money do you need?...A little more than i have!

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liesedlDec. 21, 08 7:44 AM

The first commentator, by trying to make two political points here, has missed the point completely. He/She attacks Medical Doctors and private industry financing of research as the problems. The real problem here is government funded institutional arrogance in academia. The BAD guy here is called "... actually one of the good guys." Even the Dean of the Medical School didn't have the chutzpa to make the argument that the guy, who was so successful in violating his ethics for millions has the best perspective to fix the problem.

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wunderdudeDec. 21, 08 8:45 AM

If there's a bass ackwards decision to be made, it's always made at the U. A person banned from business sponsored-research in 2007 is suddenly fit to adjudicate the ethics of business-sponsored research in 2008? Only at the world's most inept institution.

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getlanceDec. 21, 08 9:28 AM

Dr. Furcht may be a highly qualified person to help with ethics, due to both his extensive medical experience, as well as the fact that he has been through an ethics probe. However, the fact that any person that was "reprimanded for a "serious violation" of university conflict-of-interest policies in connection with a grant" should disqualify him from any such position. What's more incredible is that the University does not see this as a conflict, as to me, it casts serious doubt on their ability to craft any legitimate ethics code.

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susannlsDec. 21, 08 9:42 AM

The U of Mn is one of the most corrput, dysfunctional places in the TC area...

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jerryclarkDec. 21, 08 9:51 AM

This sounds like putting the fox in charge of writing the rules for hen house security. Another option is to hire an experienced White House staffer to interpret them. Although Willie Sutton whose claim to fame was that he conducted the most bank robberies in history. When asked: "Willie, why do you rob banks?" he replied: "Cause that's where the money is." There are some lessons to be learned at the same institution from whom Dr. McGuire, the famous "leader" of United Health wants to be appointed to the chair that he endowed at the Carlson School of Management. And now the "U" wants more money to make the school one of the leaders in research. What gives?

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foobarxyzDec. 21, 0810:14 AM

Drain the swamp, cut their funds. Higher education is over-rated.

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slarkin1Dec. 21, 0810:35 AM

A slap on the wrist for swiping 500K? Dean Powell's husband is a pathologist... and guess who his boss is? Dr Furcht! He got the job when she became Dean. Cozy.

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