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Doug Mann LPN, LNC

The U of MN is not Tuskegee?

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The U of MN is not Tuskegee?
What is fact, what is rumor?

Excerpt from an commentary by Dante Cicchetti, et al published in the Star-Tribune:
In our view, the Tuskegee study was evil. Any study that lies and denies information and treatment to participants is wrong — wherever and whenever it occurs. This kind of treatment denies individuals their basic human rights and is never, never permissible. And, it must not be repeated.
Response by Doug Mann:
I have compared the proposed northpoint / U of MN child development research and treatment facilities on the North Side with the Tuskegee study. The U of MN is proposing to research and treat the mental health problems of a community that are rooted in that community's social isolation, restricted access to a quality public education, jobs, housing, etc.

The analogy between the U of M project and Tuskegee is not perfect. However, there are some important parallels. The U of M, the County Board, Northpoint, and other players have been holding back information necessary for the community to give informed consent to the project. Secondly, the U of M project is part of a broader initiative that does not include measures to make a quality education, jobs, and stable housing more accessible to the project's target population. That is a lot like studying and treating the effects of syphilis over a long period of time, instead of providing effective curative treatment.
What is fact, what is rumor re: the project?

The school board had announced plans to close North Star, then agreed to keep it open for another year in the face of public protests. The U of M was interested in acquiring the Neighborhood Early Learning Center next door, and had apparently communicated this interest and the need for additional space to the MPS administration. Was the U of M's need for more space than the NELC had to offer and the plan to shut down North Star just a coincidence?

Now it appears that some things have changed. The U of M has reportedly lost interest in acquiring the NELC. The Minneapolis School Board just voted to open the NELC more or less per the original plan. And, according to Bill English, the Board is reconsidering its plan to evict the North Star program from its current location.

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