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Posted on October 27, 2019 at 12:54 PM

I have just left the ASBH Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. What struck me the most from my discussions, this weekend, was the fear of clinicians to report the illegal and unethical conduct that they observe.

Many would like to write about these issues. But they have concerns. Here are two of them:

1.  Working clinicians worry about retaliation from their supervisors. And they are not sure that their HR social media policy even permits them to  publicly comment on institutional or community healthcare issues.

2. Academic clinicians worry about impairing their professional growth in the field. Articles critical of widespread practices are difficult to publish. Even when they do get published, the author may be blacklisted from other publication placements or from hiring opportunities.

I am deeply concerned by the “chill” that these clinicians feel. The original mission of bioethics is to critically question healthcare practices. If people are afraid to do that, bioethics fails.  

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