President Trump has signed legislation designed to improve whistle-blower protections for federal Veterans Affairs medical center employees following the death of a doctor who killed himself after raising concerns regarding over-prescribing of medications at the VA hospital in Tomah.
The Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistle-Blower Protection Act will strengthen penalties on those who retaliate against whistle-blowers, add protections for probationary employees and ensure that federal employees have a greater knowledge of whistle-blower protections, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, said Thursday.
“Chris Kirkpatrick did the right and honorable thing when he raised concerns about the over-prescription of opioids to veterans. Today we are sending a strong message that federal whistle-blowers like Chris deserve protection, and attempts to intimidate or silence whistle-blowers are unlawful," said Sen. Johnson.
Dr. Kirkpatrick, 38, took his own life after being fired for questioning excessive prescription practices at the Tomah VA hospital. His brother testified for the legislation, saying Kirkpatrick faced retaliation for being a whistle-blower.