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Are There Virtues in Whistle Blowing? Perspectives from Health Care Organizations

PAQ, Vol. 25 No. 4, (2002)

Another frontier of contemporary ethics is using whistle-blowers as a
means to fight fraud and abuse in health care organizations. The federal
government does this by increasingly relying on the False Claims Act
and qui tam suits brought by whistleblowers. This article argues that
this approach is dysfunctional for both the whistleblower and the
organizations targeted by them. The article proposes that enhanced
standards, informed by virtue ethics and utilized by independent bodies
such as the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare
Organizations or JCAHO during the health care organization accreditation
process, offer a better alternative to the current retributive
approach now used by the federal government.

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