Whistleblowing and Scientific Misconduct: Renewing Legal and Virtue Ethics Foundations
Faunce, Thomas Alured
Medicine and Law: The World Association for Medical Law 2007 September; 26(3): 567-584
Whistleblowing in relation to scientific research misconduct, despite the benefits of increased transparency and accountability it often has brought to society and the discipline of science itself, remains generally regarded as a pariah activity by many of the most influential relevant organizations. The motivations of whistleblowers and those supporting them continued to be questioned and their actions criticised by colleagues and management, despite statutory protections for reasonable disclosures appropriately made in good faith and for the public interest. One reason for this paradoxical position, explored here, is that whistle blowing concerning scientific misconduct lacks the policy support customarily derived from firm bioethical and jurisprudential foundations. Recommendations are made for altering this situation in the public interest.
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