Whistleblowing in Speech-Language Pathology Whistleblowing is the reporting of illegal or unethical conduct or practice by an individual or organization. Whistleblowing tends to follow a specific sequence. A potential whistleblowing situation begins when a policy or practice appears to be unethical or illegal (Berryman-Fink, 1989; James, 1990; Macrina, 1995; Statt, 1991). Whistleblowing should ... Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   November 01, 1998
Whistleblowing in Speech-Language Pathology
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary Pannbacker
    Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport
  • Contact author: Mary Pannbacker, Mollie E. Webb Speech and Hearing Center, Department of Communication Disorders, Louisiana State University Medical Center, 2919 Southern Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71104. E-mail: comdmdp@lsumc.edu
    Contact author: Mary Pannbacker, Mollie E. Webb Speech and Hearing Center, Department of Communication Disorders, Louisiana State University Medical Center, 2919 Southern Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71104. E-mail: comdmdp@lsumc.edu×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Viewpoint
Viewpoint   |   November 01, 1998
Whistleblowing in Speech-Language Pathology
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 1998, Vol. 7, 18-24. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0704.18
History: Received December 23, 1997 , Accepted March 30, 1998
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 1998, Vol. 7, 18-24. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0704.18
History: Received December 23, 1997; Accepted March 30, 1998
Whistleblowing is the reporting of illegal or unethical conduct or practice by an individual or organization. Whistleblowing tends to follow a specific sequence. A potential whistleblowing situation begins when a policy or practice appears to be unethical or illegal (Berryman-Fink, 1989; James, 1990; Macrina, 1995; Statt, 1991). Whistleblowing should occur only after intervention has been attempted, such as an attempt to intervene personally and directly with the person(s) at fault (Garrett, Baillie, & Garrett, 1989). It should be the last alternative when all other attempts to intervene have failed (Baab & Ozar, 1994). If the concerns are not addressed and the issues are not resolved, the individual has an obligation to report the misconduct to the Ethical Practice Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA, 1994a)—the ASHA Code of Ethics (1994a)  states that “individuals who have reason to believe that the Code of Ethics has been violated shall inform the Ethical Practice Board” (p. 2). Speech-language pathologists have an obligation to report ethical violations. Moreover, depending on the state in which an individual practices, the state speech-language-hearing association and the licensure board might need to be notified. Revealing information becomes ethical when it will prevent someone from being hurt or mistreated (Guy, 1990). In some situations, it would be unethical for someone not to blow the whistle.
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