WhistleBlowing. Inequity That Needs to Change
No whistleblowers in medical misconduct cases: Tyndall (CA), Heaps (CA), Anderson (MI), Nassar (MI), Strauss (OH), Hadden (NY), Archibald (NY). Why is that?
First of all the chance of being fired on some phony charge is very high; some perpetrators in Medicine, as with other criminals in the US, have hostile- personality disorder and large gun collections (risk of death); and finally no compensation for whistleblowing. So all kinds of reasons not to report, and no reason other than doing good for speaking up. A constant refrain that is repeatedly stated, most recently by the new ATF director Dettelbach, " If you see something, say something... it is always easier not to get involved ". Yes, but what if you see something and say something and get fired, do you call up Mr Dettelbach and ask him if you can get your job back. And ofcourse the people in an organization firing you would also say: " oh yes, see something, say something" except ofcourse if it is reporting in their organization, then you have to go.
Whistleblowing when it comes to federal grants... the government's money.... is rewarded with anywhere from 10% to 30% of the money recovered. A recent major case is Joseph Thomas a lab technologist at Duke in laboratory mice studies for lung disease was fired for speaking up about falsified research in publications by Potts-Kants. Duke agreed to pay back 112.5 million, and Thomas received 30% of the settlement $33.75 million, not bad for a research technologist.
Reporting fraud on mice with lung disease; fraud by a woman so not likely with a hostile personality disorder and a huge gun collection, and $33.75 million.
Whistleblowers in all the other human misconduct cases, and in the case of Levy would have resulted in subjects' deaths, would receive $0 for WhistleBlowing. So risk of losing your job, likelihood of hostile emotionally unbalanced gun-toting doctors and $0 compensation. Why would anyone report misconduct? Well they don't.
Of Mice and Men. Mice: $33.75 million// Men $0. Mice 33.75 million to report on the plight of mice. $0 to report on gross misconduct of humans. Mice are worth $33.75 million, and human life worth nothing- this inequity needs to change.
Of course this is completely absurd. What should happen in theses cases, for example if we use Tyndall's case and the settlement of $1.1 billion with victims. Compensation for a whistleblower bringing this to light should not subtract from the awards to victims but should be an addition upon the settlement. 10% should go to the WhistleBlower on top of the awards to patients.
The establishment of financial awards to whistle blowers reporting on gross medical misconduct on patients in clinical practice is an obvious thing. This would completely change the complexion of the entire picture: physicians would swallow their fear of reporting; and senior administration would stop covering up the misconduct of their buddies/cronies.
I am the change I want to see in the world,
Richard Semelka, MD