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Mission of Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network Association

Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network Association is a grassroots network to provide information and advocacy for those persons who have stepped forward to report medical fraud, patient abuse and neglect and human rights violations to state, federal and international authorities.  Grassroots networking started in 2001 and non profit status filed in Kansas in May 2010.

Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network Association is a group of persons who support the advocacy of Medical Whistleblower in Lawrence, KS.  Many in the network are actually Medical Whistleblowers themselves.  Medical Whistleblowers are those who come forward and report medical fraud, abuse and neglect of patients and human rights violations.   Medical Whistleblowers are by definition defenders of human rights.  Medical Whistleblowers step forward and report these problems to federal, state and international authorities.  When they do take that courageous action they are often retaliated against and find themselves struggling to hold on to their jobs and even their careers.  Being a Medical Whistleblower is not easy and is a commitment to human rights values sometimes with considerable personal loss. 

The Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network is a grassroots network of those who wish to support the efforts of Medical Whistleblower and provide political advocacy to end these human rights violations and to stop patient abuse and neglect and to feret out medical fraud and bring those involved to justice.

Protect Medical Whistleblowers

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

Organizational Structure

Membership in the Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network Association is open to the public.  Medical Whistleblower is organized as a nonprofit organization under Kansas law. We do provide a variety of educational information and materials to the public for free.

We are not under Federal IRS standards a 501 c 3 organization because a percentage of our efforts are to advocate actively for legislation that furthers human rights and protection for human rights defenders.  Therefore donations are not federally tax deductible. 

Any interested person may participate in supporting the advocacy of the Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network Association by signing petitions with which they agree.  You may participate by clicking on the link above or by visiting our associated petition website http://change.org/medicalwhistleblower/

The Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network Association provides to the public information about Medical Whistleblowers, Defenders of Human Rights and Bad Faith or Sham Peer Review as well as many other topics on this website.  The Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network Association has contracted with an educational provider to provide informational brochures, newsletters, and other informative and inspirational materials which are available for free download from this website.  

You may request membership in the Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network by sending an email to MedicalWhistleblowers (at) gmail.com   There is at this time no fee for membership.  Benefits include a newsletter provided through email in digital pdf format as well as other educational seminars and events. 

 

History

Medical Whistleblower was founded by Dr. Janet Parker DVM in 2001 in order to bring forward abuse and neglect that she saw first hand in the foster care system.  Dr. Janet Parker, Executive Director of Medical Whistleblower in Lawrence, KS now works with Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network Association.  Dr. Janet Parker DVM working with thousands of people over the years  has provided a range of educational materials and programs and has garnered grassroots support for the issues critical to our mission. .  Dr. Parker also provides direct advocacy to those Medical Whistleblowers who need it.  All services provided by Medical Whistleblower are at present free to those who need them through the volunteer efforts of Dr. Janet Parker DVM.

The Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network Association is dedicated to advocacy and the emotional support of all Medical Whistleblowers regardless of their professional background or licensing status.  Medical Whistleblower  Advocacy Network Association does not provide therapy or legal services. We are also not patient advocates who negotiate the complex web of medical services for patients. Although we do work cooperatively with those who do direct patient advocacy. We do not help patients sue doctors or hospitals for malpractice although issues related to patient medical care and safety are critical to our work. We also do not provide payee services or do guardianship. 

Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network Association is instead an advocate for change - Telling Truth To Power.  The Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network identifies systemic problems within the systems providing for medical care or custodial care and try to advocate in meaningful ways for change.  We partner with many different professional groups to affect change and we try to bridge those communication gaps that prevent us from moving forward in a positive direction.  Medical Whistleblowers working with the Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network Association bring light to bear on hidden problems and seek to find answers on how to correct them.

Who are Medical Whistleblowers?

Registration Survey

 

Medical Whistleblower provides advocacy for all regardless of national origin, religious faith, color, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or age.   Anyone with access to information related to medical fraud, abuse and neglect can be a Medical Whistleblower.   Medical Whistleblower advocates for those who have already made that choice and those still considering their future path.  There is no cost to request support from Medical Whistleblower.  Medical Whistleblower is not a counseling service and does not provide legal advice or representation. We are an advocate for change and provide meaningful information related to the Medical Whistleblower’s experience and networking contacts for further support. 

"The test of a democracy is not the magnificence of buildings or the speed of automobiles or the efficiency of air transportation, but rather the care given to the welfare of all the people."

Helen Adams Keller


Medical Whistleblowers come from all walks of life and many professional disciplines. Medical Whistleblowers can be Doctors, Pharmacists, Researchers, Police Officers,  Federal Law Enforcement Agents, Nurses, Medical Technicians, Certified Public Accountants, Attorneys, Judges, Therapists, Prosecutors, Hospital CEO’s, Academic Medical Instructors, Veterans, Emergency Medical Technicians, and even Patients and their families.   Medical Whistleblowers are themselves human rights defenders of others.   Medical Whistleblowers risk their livelihoods when they dissent in the name of transparency and openness, and in return often lose their cherished right to privacy and suffer severe personal loss.

"It is dangerous to be right
when the government is wrong."

VOLTAIRE

The Human Right Principles

The human rights principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights illuminate that vision and point to the means to achieve it.

These principles affirm:

  • freedom from persecution;
  • the right to participate in society;
  • protection from harms like torture and discrimination; and
  • the goal of achieving the highest attainable standard of health for everyone.

“Where after all, do universal human rights begin?  In small places, close to home—so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world.  Yet they are the world of the individual person: the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works.  Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, and equal dignity, without discrimination.  Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

Who is a Defender of Human Rights?

Human Rights Defenders can be of any gender, of varying ages, from any part of the world and from all sorts of professional or other backgrounds. In particular, it is important to note that human rights defenders are not only found within non-governmental organizations, and intergovernmental organizations but might also, in some instances, be government officials, civil servants or members of the private sector.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." 

- Edmund Burke

Additional Links

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders regarding visit to Colombia in September 2009 (03/04/10)

Panel Discussion: Human Rights Defenders and Freedom of Association (10/23/09)

Panel Discussion: The UN Human Rights Defenders Declaration after Ten years: Protecting Rights in a Changing World (10/24/08)

Watch HRF's Andrew Hudson speak at Human Rights Council on Human Rights Defenders (03/13/08)

HRF Oral Statement to Human Rights Council on Human Rights Defenders (03/13/08)

HRF Written Statement to Human Rights Council on Human Rights Defenders (03/13/08)

March 2008 Event at Human Rights Council (03/12/08)

Letter Urging Human Rights Council to Retain Expert on Human Rights Defenders (02/18/08)

Panel Discussion: Challenges Faced by Women Human Rights Defenders: Showcasing the United Nations Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders (10/24/07)

HRF Op Ed on Importance of Special Procedures (05/17/07)

Petition to save Independent Experts on HRD (04/11/07) 

Human Rights First Analysis of UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders

Testimonies of Human Rights Defenders

Groups Urge UN's New SG to Support the Special Representative for Human Rights Defenders (12/14/06)


Who is a Mandated Reporter?

Medical Whistleblowers are human rights defenders.  The Hippocratic Oath taken by every Medical Doctor states the Doctors’ responsibility to care for the sick, to report on the welfare of the individual patient and also guard against any bias in the medical care system in relationship to any class of persons. The central moral commitment of the Hippocratic traditional code is its dedication to something other than the physician’s self-interest, that something being the primacy of the welfare of the patient.  The Medical Doctor’s clear obligation is to detect and prevent abuse and neglect.  Medical Whistleblowers promote the well-being of patients by taking appropriate actions to avert the harms caused by violence and abuse.  The duty of the Doctor is to not only address patients’ immediate injuries, but also the psychological and social needs of victims.  Medical Whistleblowers need to work closely in conjunction with members of the public safety and law enforcement communities. 

In the U.S.A. there is mandated reporting of any signs of violence, abuse, or suspicious injuries.  This places the Medical Whistleblower in the position of being a human rights defender and possibly facing retaliation by politically or economically powerful adversaries.  In the political international context, medical professionals are some of the first reporters of violations of human rights.  Medical Whistleblowers report the abuse of the elderly in hospital and nursing home settings, the financial and civil rights violation by guardians of the mentally ill, sexual assault of vulnerable youth in the foster care system, male upon male rape in prisons, neglect or abuse of refugees, and brutality against prisoners of war or psychological torture of terrorist suspects.  Often Medical Fraud goes hand in hand with the violation of the patient’s human rights. Criminals who defraud the US Medicaid system by fraudulent charges, false reports and unnecessary procedures on vulnerable patients, do not care that they are causing physical, emotional and financial harm to vulnerable children and adults.  These criminals deliberately seek out persons who by their very medical condition, disability, cognitive difficulty, legal immigration status, nationality, or disease state are particularly vulnerable.  The right of opinion and expression of Medical Whistleblowers needs to be protected in order to protect these vulnerable patients.

See these Medical Whistleblower Canary Newsletters for further information:


United Nations Declaration of Human Rights

Witness Intimidation

Torture

 Constitutional Law

 

Why should the Legislature protect the Constitutional Civil Rights of Medical Whistlelbowers?

As a health professional, these abuses and the harm they cause deeply offend medical ethics and values.  Health professionals must uphold the ethical standards of their professions and must not be put in positions where they are expected or asked to violate them.  We have learned from the media and from government documents that health professionals, especially psychologists and other mental health specialists, have allegedly played a central role in the design, supervision, and implementation of these abusive and illegal tactics. 

The US Congress must take a leadership role to ensure that these acts of violence against Medical Whistleblowers are uniformly prohibited without exceptions.  The US Supreme Court must take a leadership role in assuring that the protections provided under law to Medical Whistleblowers are enforced by the courts.   The Executive branch of the US government must assure that it has not abdicated its role to prosecute those who violate whistleblower protection statutes,  Title 18 provisions meant to protect civil rights and to ensure proper procedure through the judicial system, and to enforce the protections necessary for Mandated Reporters to come forward. 


How Can I Request Assistance?

Requesting assistance can be done by letter, email or phone call.   A questionnaire will be mailed to you to determine what kind of support would be most effective for your needs and situation.   Medical Whistleblower will keep your information private and confidential and will only share with contacts you have authorized and will not divulge information unless required to do so by law.

The judicial system is very broken. It must be fixed.
There are four people who can do the job:
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
Everybody thinks Somebody will surely do it.
It is a job Anybody can do. But Nobody is doing it.
At least I'm trying. What are you doing?


How Can We Affect Change?

Make no mistake that to be a Medical Whistleblower requires great courage.   This is not a pathway for the coward.   It requires great spiritual strength.   It is a form of non-violent dissent which is physically non-aggressive but spiritually aggressive.   We hold those empowered to make legislative change and to enforce the law accountable for their actions and inaction.  As Medical Whistleblowers  we strive to change the system in a meaningful way and to improve dialog and communication with those empowered to initiate and implement change.  Nothing is more powerful than the truth.  But few paths are more treacherous than the one that challenges the abuse of power.

"All truth passes through three stages.
             First, it is ridiculed.
             Second, it is violently opposed.
             Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
 
                                A
RTHUR SCHOPENHAUER (1788-1860)




How can I support the Advocacy Efforts of Medical Whistleblower?

If you feel that you have time, resources or experience to offer Medical Whistleblower, we welcome your donations.  We are currently in need of volunteers who have had experience in Whistleblower Retaliation and can provide emotional support and advocacy for another whistleblower.  We attempt to pair an experienced Medical Whistleblower with someone who is still experiencing difficulties in their efforts to tell truth to power.  You do not have to have attained legal success in your own Whistleblowing efforts to be able to mentor another Whistleblower or to be involved as a volunteer. Our goal is to empower every Medical Whistleblower and give them opportunities for spiritual growth, renewal and personal fulfillment.  If you are able and willing to offer financial support, we humbly accept donations to  support our advocacy.


"The concept of restorative and repairative justice is based on the premise that a crime represents a debt owed not only to the state, but to the victim, the victim’s family and to the community as a whole. In addition, the offender is to acknowledge responsibility for the harm that has been done. It is the responsibility of the community to provide a forum in which justice can occur."

Tell Us About Your Own Whistleblowing Experience

Let's See Some of the Advocacy of Medical Whistleblower

Petitions Currently Active on Change.org
Go to http://www.change.org/medicalwhistleblower/
1.
Increase Funding to Improve the Education of Native Americans
Support Senator Tom Udall’s request for additional funding to the BIE and BIA. Let us not forget that education is a human right which includes (a) the right of access to quality education; (b) the practice of human rights in and through education; and (c) education as a right that facilitates the fulfillment of other rights.
Take Action
2.
Urge the President to Issue an Executive Order on Domestic Human Rights
The time for action is NOW. President Obama should issue an Executive Order that holds the U.S. accountable for its human rights commitments.
Take Action
3.
Support the Tribal Law and Order Act (S. 797 / H.R. 1924)
The Tribal Law and Order Act (S. 797 / H.R. 1924) is still in the spotlight in both the House and the Senate. The Senate recently passed this legislation out of committee. There is a lack of proper law enforcement protection to Native Americans on Bureau of Indian Affairs land.
Take Action
4.
Ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
We the undersigned are calling on the United States Congress to Ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities WHEREAS, the Convention is the first human rights treaty of the 21st century; and the President of the United States signed the treaty on July 30, 2009 and it is now necessary to ratify the treaty to give it the force of law..
Take Action
5.
Stop Child Abuse - Support HR 911
It is a sad fact that the United States has not protected the human rights of children in private residential treatment and wilderness camps. These programs remain largely unregulated and terrible abuse happens while children are kept from communicating with their families and getting advocacy for even their most basic needs.
Take Action

Protect the Elderly from Abuse - Pass the Elder Justice Act

The Elder Abuse Issue in more depth

There is a terrible tragedy of elder abuse that is occurring in silence the U.S.A. every day and the victims ordinary senior citizens are often physically and emotionally abused or financially exploited. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, as of July 1, 2004, 12 percent of all Americans were 65 and over. By 2050, people 65 and over will comprise an impressive 21 percent of the U.S. population.

The terrible secret is that according to Department of Health and Human Services estimates between 500,000 and 5 million seniors in our country are abused, neglected, or exploited.  It is a sad fact that most victim of elder abuse remain silent about their victimization or do not know how to report.

The Senate is considering an Elder Justice Act. It would boost federal aid for identifying and investigating elder abuse at the state and local levels, require long-term care providers to report possible crimes to federal authorities and create new oversight within the Department of Health and Human Services for coordinating state and federal anti-abuse efforts. This bill has gained broad support in and out of Congress, with more than 500 advocacy groups supporting the legislation so it is hoped that at least some of the measures appear to have good prospects for being enacted into law.

According to a study for the National Institute of Justice, there are approximately 11% of people ages 60 and older suffer from some kind of abuse every year.  In addition other studies show that elderly victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation have twice the risk of dying within a year.

The Elder Justice Act of 2005 which was now finally passed into law will hopefully:

  Fund research on comprehensive approaches to abuse detection and prevention;

  Promote coordination of federal, state and local efforts through the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice;

  Support efforts to enhance capacity to discover and hold abusers and other violators accountable;

  Provide for long term care staff training and preventive security measures to protect individuals receiving long-term care, including the establishment of a national nurse aide registry and national criminal background checks; and

  Authorize funds for training and to establish a clearinghouse to empower professionals, researchers and consumers in finding solutions to elder abuse.

Guardian Abuse

Prevent Elder Abuse - Pass the Elder Justice Act

Dr. John Virapen Tells All About Pharmaceutical Company Fraud

Is Peer Review a Broken System?

What is Torture?

Torture is not an effective means of interrogation and does not yield useful or truthful information. It is, however, a highly effective means of controlling populations: torture destroys leaders, disintegrates opposition and terrorizes communities. Torture is never acceptable.

 

"...the term 'torture' means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."
(Article I, United Nations Convention Against Torture, 1984)

“…torture is defined as the deliberate, systematic or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons acting alone or on the orders of any authority to force another person to yield information, to make a confession, or for any other reason.”
(World Medical Association, Declaration of Tokyo, 1975)

 

What is Torture of a Disabled Person?

In an Annex to the UN Declaration of Human Rights of the Disabled, Theresia Degener  stated  "It is no secret that the most vulnerable members of society are most likely to be affected by torture and ill treatment. While the average non-disabled white man is only vulnerable when deprived of his freedom and weapons, most persons with disabilities are vulnerable everywhere and at all times: In situations of detention as much as outside if isolated and dependent. And: During police interrogations as much as during medical examinations. But while torturing prisoners has been one of the early concerns of human rights law and practice, torture and ill treatment of disabled persons has not been acknowledged as such due to the prevailing medical model of disability. In the context of torture and ill treatment, the medical model of disability means that human rights violations can be disguised by medical treatment. Torture and ill treatment are legitimized or ignored by seeing the disabled person as a problem not as a right holder. Whereas the medical model locates the “problem” of disability within the person and sees the solution in medical intervention, the human rights model helps to locate the “problem” outside the individual and helps to recognize torture and ill-treatment of disabled persons. It has taken a long time for this to take place, the paradigm shift from the medical to the human rights model of disability." 

Theresia Degener continues in her Recommendations to the Special Rapporteur in Annex IV to state that "Today we have heard about the atrocities which happen worldwide to persons with disabilities in- and outside of institutions. We have heard that torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment may result in impairments, may aggravate existing impairments and that torture and similar forms of treatment may take different forms when it comes to the treatment of disabled persons."

Continuing later in the Recommendations in Annex IV Theresia Degener states ...."Thus, we may conclude that there are two typical categories of torture and ill treatment with respect to persons with disabilities. The first could be called torture through medicalization of inhuman and degrading treatment, the second could be called torture through neglect. Legal protection against these two forms of torture or ill treatment thus should address these specific issues: control and review of medical action and provision of reasonable accommodation in the context of detention and coercion. Review and control of medical action should mean two things. First a medical diagnosis or an impairment as such should never be a legitimate ground for forced intervention, treatment or detention. The Committee of the Disability Rights Convention (CRDP) encompasses such a norm in Article 14 where it says “that the existence of a disability shall in no case justify a deprivation of liberty.” This is a very important normative standard to be implemented in psychiatric and other facilities. Studies have shown that all too often forced interventions are based merely on medical diagnosis, rather than on the actual behavior of the patient. Such an approach is a perpetuation of the medical model of disability. A human rights model of disability demands that not the medical diagnosis but the behavior of the individual must be the ground for any forced intervention. Secondly, review and control of medical action should mean that the power to decide if a disabled person shall be detained or that forced intervention may take place, shall not rest merely with doctors.  Often one doctor’s decision is only reviewed by one or two other doctors who may be deemed independent. But in reality such review only implies checking whether the first doctor’s medical diagnosis was correct. This is only natural since doctors learn to diagnose and that is their expertise. But they usually do not learn much about human rights and the normative standard. Art. 15 (2) of CRPD demands that prevention of persons with disabilities from being subject to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment shall be “on an equal basis with others.” Nondisabled persons usually have recourse to judicial review if subjected to detention or any form of forced intervention.   This is what we call RECHTSSTAATSPRINZIP or the rule of law. It includes the is separation of powers and that the powers of the state control each other. Providing disabled persons with medical review only is in my view a substandard of human rights protection. Because it means that there is no control of the executive branch. In practice judicial review is difficult when it comes to treatment of disabled persons. "

How can we prevent Torture?

Association for the Prevention of Torture focuses on  these  objectives for the prevention of torture and ill-treatment of persons with disabilities. 

  1. Transparency
  2. Effective legal frameworks
  3. Capacity building

The  principle of transparency should be applied to closed as well as to open institutions where disabled persons live, as well as outside service delivery systems.

The Velvet Revolution Discussion of Torture

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

GAP Homeland Security Director Jesselyn Radack

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." ~ Mohandas Gandhi ~

Dr. Ian P. Grady MD Testimony about Unnecessary Heart Surgery

Joe Flores JD RN remembers Ted Kennedy

Bill Moyers on Health Care Reform

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete" -- Buckminster Fuller

Medical ID Theft

Medical Fraud - Osteoporosis Treatment

Judicial Transparency

Events Coming Soon

Links to Organizations who support Disability Rights

 


International Advocacy Resources:

Resources for the United Nations Convention on the Human Rights of People with Disabilities:

General Mental/Disability Rights Resources: