Whistleblowing in The Medical Community Essay

Whistleblowing in The Medical Community Essay

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Bouville (2008) describes whistleblowing as an act for an employee of revealing what he believes to be unethical or described as an illegal behaviour to a higher management (internal whistleblowing) or to an external authority or the public (external whistleblowing). Whistle-blowers are often seen as traitors to an organisation as they are considered to have violated the loyalty terms of that organisation while some are described as heroes that defend the values and ethics of humanity rather than loyalty to their company. In the medical community, it is the duty of a practitioner aware of patient care being threatened to make it known to those in charge and for those in charge to address the issues and act on it. The General Medical Council (GMC) stipulated this act of raising concern as a doctor’s duty in its Good medical practice guide. This paper will be based on the analysis of the experience of whistle blowers, reasons why they chose or chose not to take such actions and personal opinions on whistleblowing in the medical community.
In an ideal medical society, no dilemma should arise on whistleblowing associated with poor medical practice or illegal behaviours. However these dilemmas arise when these whistle blowers take privileged information to the public in order to address their personal concerns or conscience. It can however be said that they are often left with little or no choice. Lipley (2001) discusses a case which occurred in the UK where a nurse wrote to the media reportedly that the elderly inpatients at her organisation did not receive adequate care and that this was jeopardising their lives. The appeals tribunal ruled that her decision was right and was both reasonable and an acceptable way to raise such issues ...


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...e at one point absorbed the psychologically painful experience of being disloyal (Ibid).



Works Cited

Bouville, M. (2008) Whistle-blowing and morality. Journal of Business Ethics. 81 (3), pp. 579-585.
Jackson, D. and Raftos, M. (1997) In uncharted waters: confronting the culture of silence in a residential care institution. International Journal of Nursing Practice. 3 (1), pp. 34-39.
Lipley, N. (2001) Whistleblower who wrote to newspaper wins tribunal. Nursing Standard. 16 (12), p. 4.
Martin, M.W. and Schinzinger, R. (2005) Ethics in Engineering. 4th ed. New York: McGraw Hill.
Rhodes, R. and Strain, J.J. (2004) Whistleblowing in academic Medicine. Journal of Medical Ethics. 30 (1)
Taubes, G. (1995) Plagiarism suit wins: experts hope it won't set a trend. Science. 268
Wilmot, S. (2000) Nurses and whistleblowing. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 32 (5), pp. 1051-1057.

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