Tuesday, August 23, 2016

It's rebranding time in Tisdale, Saskatchewan

According to the CBC, "Officials said 57 per cent of respondents were in favour of rebranding, while 36 per cent opposed changing the slogan."

University of Minnesota appoints new General Counsel

From Eric Kaler and Dean Johnson:

Dear University of Minnesota Faculty and Staff,

We are pleased to announce Douglas Peterson as the new General Counsel for the University of Minnesota. Doug will begin his new role on September 19, 2016, pending Board of Regents approval.

Doug comes to the University of Minnesota from Stinson Leonard Street LLP, a top 100 law firm with an office in Minneapolis. There, he was a partner practicing in the areas of complex business litigation and white-collar defense. Previously, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota where he tried a variety of criminal cases and argued numerous cases before the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He has also served as a clerk for the Honorable Robert G. Renner, U.S. District Judge for the District of Minnesota.

Doug received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School and his B.A. summa cum laude in economics from Yale University. A native of Mankato, Minnesota, Doug has a deep understanding and appreciation of the singular impact the University of Minnesota has on our state and the world.

As chief legal officer of the University of Minnesota system, Doug will provide legal services to the Board of Regents and senior leadership, and will lead the Office of the General Counsel. The General Counsel oversees the remarkably varied legal needs of the University system, covering litigation and transactional matters.  This includes managing the University's legal representation in all litigation and administrative proceedings, with hundreds of such cases pending each year. As well, all University contracts relating to employment, purchasing, real estate, patents and technology marketing, sponsored research, external sales and other activities are subject to General Counsel review. 

The Office of the General Counsel has a record of providing excellent customer service and achieving high levels of employee engagement. Doug will work to build on this strong foundation to deliver exceptional legal services to the institution. The General Counsel is an extraordinarily important role, and we are confident that Doug's knowledge of the law and extensive litigation and public sector experience will ensure a smooth transition.

We want to thank former Law School Dean David Wippman and alumnus Bruce Mooty for co-chairing the search committee. We are also grateful to all of the search committee members who conducted a thorough and rigorous national process to identify and advance an exceptional pool of candidates. Our gratitude also goes out to those in the campus community, including Regents, who participated in candidate interviews and shared their assessments of the candidates.

Please also join us in thanking General Counsel Bill Donohue, who is retiring September 1, for his incredible 34 years of service to the University. Bill's commitment to public service and his leadership have made the University and our state a better place. 

Greg Brown, Associate General Counsel, will serve as Interim General Counsel from September 2, 2016 to September 18, 2016. We also want to thank Greg for serving in this capacity. 

Please join us in welcoming Doug Peterson to the University of Minnesota.


Dean E. Johnson
Chair, Board of Regents

Eric W. Kaler

Monday, August 22, 2016

"Dozens of former child patients at a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s and 70s claim they were experimented on with a so-called truth serum."

From BBC News:

Many (patients at Aston Hall Mental Hospital) claim they were experimented on by the hospital's medical superintendent Dr Kenneth Milner using a drug called sodium amytal. It is known as a "truth serum" for its supposed ability to retrieve locked-away memories.

Marianne recalls a session with the doctor where she was stripped, made to wear a stiff white gown and told she would be asked some questions. Then he injected her with a drug that heavily sedated her.

"I can remember equating it to being drunk and I was going: 'I feel like I've had about a bottle of gin, I feel like I've had about two bottles of gin'. And I can remember going: 'Happy Christmas, doctor'."

Her account is similar to those of other former patients at the time, who remember being locked in a small treatment room with a mattress on the floor. Some say their hands were tied with bandages before they were injected. Their medical records show the typical dose of sodium amytal was 60mg.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

U loses CTSI funding

From the Strib:

The University of Minnesota lost a federal grant for an institute that helps bring medical advances from the laboratory into clinical practice. U officials hope they will get funding restored next year, but acknowledge that the interruption will lead to some belt-tightening in 2017.

The university first landed the $51 million, five-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant in 2011. It used that money to develop its Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which provides support and training to researchers involved in health care and medical research.

The grant is the largest the U has ever received from the NIH. But officials at the university’s Academic Health Center were notified recently that their proposal to secure a renewal of the grant fell short.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Antidepressants can save lives but they made me want to kill"

Documentary filmmaker Katinka Blackford Newman writes in The Independent:

I had a vague recollection of the last year. It had started when I had hit a wall of despair while going through a divorce. Sleepless nights took me to a psychiatrist, who prescribed escitalopram, a common antidepressant. Within hours I was hallucinating, believed I had attacked my children, and stabbing myself with a knife, an event which I still have no recollection of.

I ended up in a private hospital where doctors clearly thought I had a screw loose when I told them I was being filmed and that I had a suicide pact with God. My psychosis ended when I said I wanted to stop taking the antidepressant, but doctors insisted I take more pills to treat stabilise my mental health. This began a terrible decline during I couldn’t leave the house, dress myself, finish a sentence. Worst of all, I couldn’t feel love for my children, Lily and Oscar, aged 10 and 11 at the time.

It was pure luck that I got better. At the end of a year, my private insurance ran out and I ended up sectioned at an NHS hospital. They made a decision that, without doubt, saved my life. I was taken off all five drugs. I was climbing the walls, screaming, shouting, and begging my family to get me out of there.

But then, one day, I woke up and I was fine. And that was where I found myself a few days before my 48th birthday in October 2013.