Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 15 May 2010
It’s worth paying attention to medicine, because when it goes wrong, people suffer and die. But how do we know when things are going wrong? This week the BMA produced a report on whistleblowers. Of the 384 doctors they surveyed (with a dismal response rate of 12%, we should be clear): 40% said they would be too frightened of repercussions to report concerns about patient safety. Of those who had spoken out on an issue, one in ten were told this could have a negative impact on their careers. But are they being melodramatic? And what if life for whistleblowers was better?