For our blog post this week we were asked to visit the ORI scholarly integrity website and find, share, and blog about one case or educational project. I chose the case of Paul H. Kornack. A link to the full case summary is below:

I chose this case summary because I feel that it demonstrates the absolute worse-case scenario involving unethical treatment of research study participants. The person in question is Paul H. Kornack. He was charged for 48 criminal charges, the worst of which included the homicide of a study participant. Kornack knowingly and purposefully forged false documents in order to falsely show that the participant met the inclusion criteria of the study when in fact he was suffering from loss of liver and kidney function and was prescribed chemotherapeutic drugs. Rightfully, Kornack was permanently debarred from practicing research, sentenced to 71 months in prison, and to pay a restitution of over $600,000.

This case summary highlights how a lack in ethical research and responsibility to your research participant’s health and well-being can have dire consequences, both for your career and your participant’s lives. It is therefore important for young researchers to learn proper ethical research practices as well as reading case summaries like this one.