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Whistleblowers: Best Defense Against Corruption

By Angela Canterbury. Originally published on The Hill's Congress Blog.

For years now, corrupt interests have co-opted our government for political gain and private profiteering. Our best line of defense when the law is ignored and regulation fails are the informed insiders who believe so strongly in the importance of accountability and saving taxpayer dollars - and often saving lives - that they are willing to risk their careers and safety to expose government wrongdoing.

It is a national disgrace that speaking out about government fraud, misconduct, waste and corruption is still such a risky endeavor. More often than not, whistleblowers suffer from some form of serious retaliation, including threats, demotion or outright firing for exposing wrongful conduct. Conscientious civil servants deserve strong statutory protections, not risk and intimidation. Yet many end up sacrificing because the 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act has been interpreted and enforced in a way that weakens the protections Congress intended - protections that government whistleblowers desperately need.

It’s time to end the discrimination and retaliation - as well as the unmistakable and deeply chilling message it sends to all employees that they should keep quiet, or else. Congress should complete the marathon legislative effort to restore a credible Whistleblower Protection Act.

In March 2007, the landmark “Whistleblower Enhancement Protection Act of 2007” passed the House by a veto-proof majority, 331-94. A weaker Senate version, S. 274, passed last year by unanimous consent.

The differences between the bills are manageable. Yet negotiations have stalled as industry lobbyists have swarmed the Capitol, imperiling many critical protections that already passed with strong majority support. Especially during this time of war, it is critical that we extend protections to federal employees who work in national security, including those at intelligence agencies, as well as to federally funded contractors. Scientists also require specific protection.  Most importantly, all federal employees and contractors also must have a right to jury trials in federal court when other administrative remedies have failed.

We join 111 other concerned organizations in calling on Congress to waste no more time enacting these protections - and not put more whistleblowers at risk by hesitating. They deserve better. And the American people deserve a government in which employees are not threatened and penalized for being stewards of the public trust. We need them now, more than ever.

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Comments

Kim Sanders-Fisher

There's a lot of buzz about Whistleblowers, but while Federal employees are being considered for greater protection, no one seems to give a hoot about Healthcare workers. I am not trying to say that controlling Government waste and corruption is not important; I fully realize the significance in eliminating these problems. I just worry that no one is focusing on the priority of ensuring that conscientious patient safety advocates are not persecuted for reporting negligence. In my opinion no where is the need for Whistleblowers protection more important, urgent and long overdue than in Healthcare.

Medical Professional who try to report negligent practices are horrendously unprotected! My own case was typical of thousands where Whistleblowers are gaged by swift retaliatory tactics. So called "Risk Management" and phony Compliance Lines only mask the truth and provide an illusion of self-policing that does not exist. Nurses and other Healthcare professionals are trying to speak out on various Blogs like mine to read about W.H.E.N? WHISTLEBLOWERS in HEALTHCARE EXPOSE NEGLIGENCE:
http://medteam.wordpress.com/category/whistleblowers-in-healthcare-expose-negligence-when/

Who looses when we allow greedy Healthcare Corporation to keep driving the crazy cost containment agenda of Deliberate Negligent Understaffing and other disastrous strategies. There will still be those who defy intimidation to conscientiously advocate for patients despite the risk of persecution, but the patients are by far the biggest losers. You might not be employed in Healthcare, but believe me, you will most certainly need Medical treatment at some point in your life, and you will expect safe access to quality care. I created my Blog site to try and promote equal accountability and to put forward innovative strategies for fixing the problems in US healthcare, Go to: TRANSPARENCY for EQUAL ACCOUNTABILITY in MEDICINE - the TEAM MedTEAM at http://medteam.wordpress.com/

Medical professionals are taught that it is their solemn duty advocate for their patients, protect them from harm and report patient safety violations to Managers or to the Hospital's "Risk Management." Sadly more and more Healthcare workers who attempt to report negligence to Risk Management or supposedly independent Compliance Lines find themselves targeted for removal. The system created to demand accountability from Doctors is now so corrupt that it is referred to as "Bad Faith Peer Review."

In violation of fancy online claims the Compliance lines put in place to encourage and support Whistleblowers by protecting them from retaliation have been corrupted to defend powerful Corporate interests. The Compliance Line at my former Hospital refused to protect me from retaliation when I faced wrongful termination to silence my protests over negligent practices. I had to beg them to do a cursory review of serious negligent practices. This Hospital's Compliance Line still refuses to investigate my case. My online Petition has nearly 3000 signatures calling for an investigation, please visit:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/3/johns-hopkins-hospital-investigation-of-whistleblowers-dismissal-demand-compliance-accountability

I am about to launch a new Campaign to demand an end to the unsafe working conditions and strong Whistleblower protections for Healthcare workers. To review the C.U.T! Campaign Goals please visit the C.U.T! Campaign to CONTROL UNDERSTAFFING TODAY: http://medteam.wordpress.com/

Kim Sanders-Fisher

There's a lot of buzz about Whistleblowers, but while Federal employees are being considered for greater protection, no one seems to give a hoot about Healthcare workers. I am not trying to say that controlling Government waste and corruption is not important; I fully realize the significance in eliminating these problems. I just worry that no one is focusing on the priority of ensuring that conscientious patient safety advocates are not persecuted for reporting negligence. In my opinion no where is the need for Whistleblowers protection more important, urgent and long overdue than in Healthcare.

Medical Professional who try to report negligent practices are horrendously unprotected! My own case was typical of thousands where Whistleblowers are gaged by swift retaliatory tactics. So called "Risk Management" and phony Compliance Lines only mask the truth and provide an illusion of self-policing that does not exist. Nurses and other Healthcare professionals are trying to speak out on various Blogs like mine to read about W.H.E.N? WHISTLEBLOWERS in HEALTHCARE EXPOSE NEGLIGENCE.

Who looses when we allow greedy Healthcare Corporation to keep driving the crazy cost containment agenda of Deliberate Negligent Understaffing and other disastrous strategies. There will still be those who defy intimidation to conscientiously advocate for patients despite the risk of persecution, but the patients are by far the biggest losers. You might not be employed in Healthcare, but believe me, you will most certainly need Medical treatment at some point in your life, and you will expect safe access to quality care. I created my Blog site to try and promote equal accountability and to put forward innovative strategies for fixing the problems in US healthcare, Go to: TRANSPARENCY for EQUAL ACCOUNTABILITY in MEDICINE - the TEAM MedTEAM at WordPress.

Medical professionals are taught that it is their solemn duty advocate for their patients, protect them from harm and report patient safety violations to Managers or to the Hospital's "Risk Management." Sadly more and more Healthcare workers who attempt to report negligence to Risk Management or supposedly independent Compliance Lines find themselves targeted for removal. The system created to demand accountability from Doctors is now so corrupt that it is referred to as "Bad Faith Peer Review."

In violation of fancy online claims the Compliance lines put in place to encourage and support Whistleblowers by protecting them from retaliation have been corrupted to defend powerful Corporate interests. The Compliance Line at my former Hospital refused to protect me from retaliation when I faced wrongful termination to silence my protests over negligent practices. I had to beg them to do a cursory review of serious negligent practices. This Hospital's Compliance Line still refuses to investigate my case. My online Petition has nearly 3000 signatures calling for an investigation, please visit the Petition from my Blog.

I am about to launch a new Campaign to demand an end to the unsafe working conditions and strong Whistleblower protections for Healthcare workers. To review the C.U.T! Campaign Goals please visit the C.U.T! Campaign to CONTROL UNDERSTAFFING TODAY.

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