Mark Hammer

Wrong question.

The real question is “What can agencies, and the system overall, do to make whistleblowing, and the ethical dilemmas and hard feelings they pose, unnecessary?”

To my mind, it is entirely analogous to the public health challenge of cardiovascular disease. Is the “correct” question to ask “How do we make bypass surgery more available and efficient?”, or is it “How do we avoid people needing to have bypass surgery?”. As the proud owner of a triple, I can confirm that surgery does do the job, but it is costly, potentially risky, highly disruptive, and comes after a period of dysfunctionality and impaired daily activities, not to mention the fact that it diverts resources away from things that are NOT as preventable..

That’s not to say that one doesn’t lift a finger to provide effective, minimally divisive, and timely mechanisms for reporting wrongdoing or getting blood to people’s hearts (because the prevention will rarely be 100% effective), but you can’t place all your chips on whistleblowing or surgery.

Change the question.