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KU Researcher Sued for Exploiting Disabled Patients

Date14 Feb 2020

KU Researcher Sued for Exploiting Disabled Patients

A lawsuit accuses former University of Kansas adjunct research professor, Jerry Rea, of using more than 200 severely disable patients at a state-run home in Iowa as subjects in research for sexual arousal.

According to the lawsuit, Rea was determined to turn the Glenwood Resource Center into a research center through medical experimentation, including sexual arousal on very fragile and dependent patients.

Glenwood is an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities and depend on the staff at the facility for their health care.

The suit claims Rea and his team used taxpayer money to purchase devices and tools, including pornographic images, a dedicated computer, software program and joystick for the sole purpose of research. It also says that they didn’t obtain consent from patient guardians before beginning the experiments.

Rea and his staff adjusted the patients’ medications to prepare them for the sexual arousal experiments.

“When a non-physician unilaterally adjusts this medication mix, without understanding these related medications, the risk of patient harm is significant,” the lawsuit says.

The suit says that Rea and other top-level administrators at Glenwood were involved in a scheme to destroy healthcare and supervisory systems, “-designed by the DOJ and other agencies to safeguard the health and civil rights,” of these patients in an attempt to make Glenwood into a research center that conducted “sexual arousal” experiments on the center’s residents.

Cara Sloan, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, said that once the department and state hospital found out about the DOJ investigation in Iowa, they proactively and immediately began an internal review of the state hospital’s history of research.

Sloat wrote in an email that the review, “-to date suggests proper ethics and approved protocols were in place based on very robust university-affiliated research policies backed by,” KU and Wichita State University- and that the proper consent was obtained from voluntary participants or legal guardians.

In addition to Rea, the lawsuit also names Glenwood Resource Center and the Iowa Department of Human Services, Jerry R. Foxhaven, the former director of the state’s department of human services; Richard Shults, former DHS director of the Division of Mental Health and Disability; and Mohammad Rehman, the medical director at Glenwood.


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