Psychedelics-assisted psychotherapy in Denmark
In 1964, the Frederiksberg Hospital in Denmark became a major LSD research center in Scandinavia, researching the effects of the drug on nearly 400 patients. Only a few complications were registered, according to the Danish State Archives, including a few suicide attempts and a homicide. The center’s attitude toward LSD research remained optimistic, and therapy was continued in Denmark until the mid-1970s, almost a decade after the drug became controversial internationally. Twenty years later, in 1986, the Danish Parliament passed the LSD Liability Bill, which sought to compensate patients who were affected by LSD during the 1960s clinical trials.
Without the informed consent from participants, these trials have been labeled as unethical. According to the Danish State Archives, the 151 applicants out of 400 who were treated received financial compensation for apparent long-term, serious side effects of the LSD procedure, which included flashbacks.
The poor practices relative to modern standards in combination with the context of a compensatory incentive in the retrospective data material raise serious questions about the cultural and political forces impacting this research in the 1960s or on the serious promise that the responsible use of these substances may have for mitigating human suffering in the future. Psychedelics-assisted psychotherapy is not legal in Denmark.