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Protecting Medical Whistleblower Canaries Partners With Law Enforcement Program

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Medical Whistleblowers are important to inform state, federal and international authorities about medical fraud, patient abuse and neglect, and human rights violations. Organized crime networks operate within the medical community and therefore retaliate against any medical whistleblower who might come forward and expose their criminal activity. We need to protect these Medical Whistlebowers and support their ability to tell truth to power.

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Protecting Medical Whistleblower Canaries Partners With Law Enforcement Program

  1. 1. Protecting Whistleblowers In the Medical Community Dr. Janet Parker DVM Medical Whistleblower 1
  2. 2. Heed Warnings! The big lesson of the 1990's isn't that the intelligence agencies had no idea of the threat we faced. It is that even their repeated warnings were not sufficient to change national priorities. Paul R. Pillar National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia CIA 2
  3. 3. Today’s Situation Assumptions 3
  4. 4. Assumption # 1 Corruption does occur in the Medical Community. They have access to restricted drugs, precursor chemicals, medical equipment and supplies and also the opportunity to provide warning to criminals of law enforcement efforts, protection of criminal enterprises, and money laundering services. 4
  5. 5. Assumption # 2 Currently medical whistleblowers can be completely silenced through the corrupt exercise of power by the Medical Quality and Control System. In some States this system does not allow for even civil or criminal liability when a doctor was inappropriately targeted and censored by the system. If the system is controlled by a corrupt individual all actionable intelligence can be stifled. 5
  6. 6. Assumption # 3 • Those on the front lines of the fight to prevent medical abuse, neglect and fraud frequently are ignored or harassed for committing the truth. • We need a better system to protect whistleblowers who have risked retaliation and been harassed for “telling the truth” 6
  7. 7. The Canary Used for detecting toxic or explosive gases in coal-mines 7
  8. 8. Whistleblowing Only when the message is unwelcome is it considered to be whistleblowing. We need to avoid the mistake of thinking that conclusions reached by consensus should routinely trump those of alone dissenting voice. 8
  9. 9. Whistleblowers In this time of danger, isn't it time to stop shooting the messenger? 9
  10. 10. WHISTLEBLOWING The exposure, by people within the organization of: • ILLEGAL OR UNETHICAL ACTIVITY • SIGNIFICANT MALADMINISTRATION 10
  11. 11. CORRUPT CONDUCT • Attempts to prevent “the honest & impartial exercise of official functions” • A breach of public trust • Misuse of information or material • Conduct involving bribery, blackmail, secret commissions, fraud, theft, tax & revenue evasions 11
  12. 12. MALADMINISTRATION • Serious & substantial waste of public money • Contrary to law • Unreasonable, unjust, oppressive or improperly discriminatory • Based wholly or partially on improper motives 12
  13. 13. IT IS NOT Activities that the whistleblower believes are incompetently managed or that the organization should be pursuing 13
  14. 14. Who Whistleblows? • Most are natural conformists. That is, they are people who do not normally question authority. They support and believe in the system. They are most reluctant to rock the boat, but have been so shocked by what they have seen they felt they had no choice but to speak out. • Whistleblowing is usually even more tragic for them than for the natural dissenter, since the corrupt and unexpected response of their organization, and of 'protection' agencies, is a terrible betrayal of their entire belief system. 14
  15. 15. REASONS FOR WHISLEBLOWING IDEALISTIC…… Honesty Efficiency, Correctness Support for „Victim‟ (of fraud) DEFENSIVE……. Against being associated with an illegal act NEGATIVE……. Dislike of supervisor Paranoia (WB‟er is the victim) Loud Mouth To avoid censure 15
  16. 16. RETRIBUTION WHISTLEBLOWING GENERATES CONSIDERABLE HOSTILITY From the people targeted by the whistleblower and by the organization generally. 16
  17. 17. Tacit Acceptance of Corruption • Retaliation is orchestrated and powerful - 'crushing' is the word most victims use to describe it. • It usually involves the whistleblower's potential supports, and it rewards the deviant(s) while penalizing the whistleblower. 17
  18. 18. Retaliation to Whistleblower • The reaction to the canary is representative of the organization's response as a whole. • This classical response means the activity the whistle was blown on is endemic and tacitly accepted within the organization. 18
  19. 19. RETRIBUTION REASONS FOR HOSTILITY: • A BELIEF THAT THE WHISTLEBLOWER IS DISLOYAL is • Acting against basic instincts of solidarity and mutual protection (“tribal” instincts) • Destroying security (jobs & income) of colleagues, • “Stealing” information (unfortunately necessary to prove accusations) 19
  20. 20. The Poisoned Canary • Management doesn’t say 'we've got a problem here, let's fix it before we have a disaster' • Instead they start bad - mouthing the canary 20
  21. 21. The Poisoned Canary • Instead the Canary …….. • Has a personality disorder • Is faking it to get compo • Was sick before it went down the mine • Is a no-good ratbag troublemaker 21
  22. 22. Strength of Retaliation = Size of Problem When they first blow the whistle they are aware only of corruption at their level in the organization, and their initial complaints may be about relatively minor matters. 22
  23. 23. After years of victimization Evidence proves that corruption and the protection of those involved in it extends further up the line, to the top or beyond, and is far greater in extent and seriousness than they had ever suspected. 23
  24. 24. Organized Crime 24
  25. 25. Organized Crime • Go to great lengths to protect themselves and their investments and assets • May seek to minimize risk by dealing only with trusted contacts • Collaboration is crucial to serious and organized criminals. They form groups and networks. • Some individuals may be recruited because they are themselves vulnerable, perhaps in debt to the criminals, drug dependent or considered unlikely to go to the police. 25
  26. 26. Coercion, Corruption & Deception • In order to avoid detection and prosecution by law enforcement organized criminal operations use coercion, corruption or deception • Money launderers are professional criminals who provide their services on a continuing basis. • While coercion is used in support of different money-making criminal activities, it is particularly prominent in the heroin and cocaine trades 26
  27. 27. Coercion • The use of threats and actual violence to silence potential witnesses, or to force individuals to act against their will • Witnesses and victims are pressed to keep silent or retract statements • Vulnerable individuals (such as drug addicts) are forced to sell drugs or provide moneylaundering services. 27
  28. 28. Corruption • Used to discover information about the status and direction of law enforcement. • To identitify of surveillance vehicles, informants or witnesses. • To discover general information concerning law enforcement capabilities, procedures, operational priorities and resource deployments • To povide an insurance policy in the event of an arrest and create the possibility for evidence to be tampered with or destroyed. 28
  29. 29. Corruption • Money or other material rewards appear to be a significant motivation for those who become corrupt • A number of the corrupt relationships that have been uncovered seem to have been motivated not by money but by friendship, family ties or group loyalty. 29
  30. 30. Deception • Organized criminals use basic evasion techniques and even more sophisticated methods • Legitimate or quasi-legitimate businesses are used most obviously to launder the proceeds of crimes, but they are also used to facilitate illicit trades and in some instances to fulfill a desire for social acceptability and status. • Front companies are essential for certain frauds. • Businesses provide cover for purchases of regulated items, such as precursor chemicals, and for shipments of illicit commodities 30
  31. 31. Recommendations • Propose legislation to change MQAC authority to allow alternative safe options to medical whistleblowers • Provide a new framework for cooperative communication and cross agency training for law enforcement and the medical community. • Support National Whistleblower Protection legislation • Support Anti-bullying legislation 31
  32. 32. Organizations • Semmelweis Society International http://www.semmelweis.net/ • AAPS American Association of Physicians and Surgeons http://www.aapsonline.org/ • GAP Government Accountability Project http://www.whistleblower.org /template/index.cfm • Project on Government Oversight POGO http://www.pogo.org/index.shtml • Veterans Affairs Whistleblower Coalition http://www.vawbc.com/ • The National Security Whistleblowers Coalition http://www.nswbc.org/ • No Fear Coalition http://groups.msn.com/NoFearCoalition 32
  33. 33. 33
  34. 34. Contact Dr. Janet Parker DVM Executive Director, Medical Whistleblower P.O. Box C Lawrence, KS 66044 MedicalWhistleblower@gmail.com 34