Epistemic duty and conspiracies against the laity 2

Conspiracies against the laity frequently operate with an inverted morality. For example, honour among thieves includes the obligation not to snitch, that is to say, not to tell the truth about the wrongdoing of each other. By contrast, the professions have an epistemic duty to speak the truth about the success and failure of the deployment of their particular profession’s expertise, and about the success and failure of the professional activities in which they are engaged and for which they are responsible.

Margaret Haywood, a nurse, had sought to fulfil this duty, but the Nursing and Midwifery Council has treated her as a snitch.

Margaret Haywood  had told the hospital authorities of the appalling neglect of elderly patients. Nothing was done. She then helped the BBC programme Panorama to make an undercover documentary exposing that neglect. The Nursing and Midwifery Council convicted her of breaching patient confidentiality and neglecting her nursing obligations, and has struck her off the register of nurses. (here ). So just as in the case of Alex Dolan and the General Teaching Council, we now have the same behaviour with the same excuses from the Nursing and Midwifery Council. 

The Nursing and Midwifery Council faces precisely the same epistemic duty that Margaret Haywood fulfilled.  Their part would be to commend her for fulfilling her epistemic duty and to promulgate the truth she exposed. Instead they have sided with the suppression of truth. No wonder the NHS gets away with killing so many people: the nurses know what is going on but the Nursing and Midwifery Council thinks its epistemic duty is to enforce the code of honour among thieves.

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