Risky Rescues and the Duty to Blow the Whistle

Journal of Business Ethics 97 (3):365 - 380 (2010)

Abstract
This article argues that whilst the idea of whistleblowing as a positive duty to do good or to prevent harm may be defendable, legislating that duty is not feasible. We develop our argument by identifying rights and duties involved in whistleblowing as two clusters: one of justice and one of benevolence. Legislative arguments have evolved to cover the justice issues and the tendency exists of extending rights and duties into the realm of benevolence. This article considers the problematic assumptions and implications of whistleblowing as a positive duty, by examining the extent to which the Good Samaritan argument holds with regard to whistleblowing. We argue that three criteria necessary for whistleblowing as a legally enforceable positive duty are not met, namely that we need to be able to (1) specify who should know what, (2) minimize the risk to the whistleblower and (3) adequately deal with mistaken concerns being raised
Keywords duty  legislation  obligation  right  whistleblowing  whistleblowing policies
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-010-0513-2
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Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Indianapolis: Oxford University Press.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.

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