James J. Fletcher, Jeanne M. Sorrell and Mary C. Silva's response:
Dear RN in England:
Thank you for sharing your whistleblowing experience with OJIN. What you did to protect your patients from harm took both great courage and professional integrity. We found it troubling that your hospital chose not only to ignore your comments but also to punish you. The type of tactics that you describe in your letters that were used against you are, sadly, often used in whistleblowing situations. Such tactics send a chilling message that your hospital appears to be ethically tainted at the management level. Yet, those persons who hold the highest positions in an organization have the greatest responsibility to run an ethical organization. It is hard, if not impossible, for one solitary person to buck an ethically tainted organization You gave it your all and we applaud you and those staff nurses who supported you. But our applause can never remove the pain and isolation that you have had to bear. We can never return to you your sleepless nights. We can never remove the guilt and moral distress you experienced over this ordeal. We can never return to you the two years "that changed [your] life forever." What we can do is to support laws that protect honorable whistleblowers like yourself and to provide support groups for you and them. We at OJIN would like you to know that you can count on us to continue to listen to your poignant story.
James J. Fletcher
Jeanne M. Sorrell
Mary C. Silva
Reply by Fletcher, Sorrell, Silva to RN in England on "Whistleblowing As a Failure of Organizational Ethics"
March 29, 2001