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Codes of Ethics The Value in Developing a Code of Ethics for a Profession or in an Organization Module 2 in the “Teaching Engineering Ethics” Series.

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Presentation on theme: "Codes of Ethics The Value in Developing a Code of Ethics for a Profession or in an Organization Module 2 in the “Teaching Engineering Ethics” Series."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Codes of Ethics The Value in Developing a Code of Ethics for a Profession or in an Organization Module 2 in the “Teaching Engineering Ethics” Series

3 Outline of Material A short history of professional codes
Code of Hammurabi (1758 b.c.) The Hippocratic Oath and the AMA Medical Ethics The function of a set of Codes A set of rules to follow A framework for decision-making and A conscience or “little bell” (?) The Case For and Against Codification Ladd, John (point) Lichtenberg, Judith (counterpoint) The Medical Field (Hippocratic Oath) Engineering Codes of Ethics The case for and against codification (Ladd vs. Lichtenberg): The case can be made that Ladd is taking extreme examples of professional behavior when denying that ethics codification is valuable. Specifically, he states that those that need the code most (the unethical) will not use such a code; and that those “virtuous” professions (the ethical) do not need a code to guide their decisions, reasoning, and behavior. In fact, Ladd suggest that “the unethicals” may misuse the code to recast unethical actions as “ethical” by virtue of subscribing to such codes (“We have a set of codes, so everything we do must be ethical”). Lichtenberg counters with a realist’s viewpoint that while the two extremes suggested by Ladd may not be consumers of a “code of ethics” it is the wide group of those between the extremes who look to the code as framework to guide ethical decision-making. The existence of a code provides a reminder that “ethics count” in the world. Just as in the cartoons, when a character finds themselves in an ethical dilemma, the ‘shoulder puppets’ appear bantering as the character’s so-called Id and Superego, the code may act as a “little voice,” a reminder that a decision must be made from reasoning. ============================== Professional Code of Ethics at the Crossroads: Medical Ethics The Oath of Hippocrates has undergone a major transformation since the classical version was “updated” in the 1960’s. Proponents of the change argue that the field

4 A history of professional codes
Adoption of codes has been typically done in a legal manner (binding) Code of Hammurabi 1758 B.C. Specifically identified codes pertaining to the “engineers” of that day (builders of homes and ships) Harsh consequences were to be meted out if codes were violated. Code #229 If a builder builds a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built falls in and kill its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.

5 A history of professional codes
The Oath of Hippocrates Applied to the profession of the medical physician Focus is upon the duties and responsibilities of physicians Classical and Modern (1964) versions vary widely AMA Code of Medical Ethics How does this differ from the Hippocratic Oath? Are both necessary? The Classical Hippocratic Oath is an idealized set of ethical guidelines that fails to encompass the complexities of the modern practice of medicine. However, it is broad in its coverage of “human ethical” and philosophical issues: privacy, euthanasia, abortion, abuse of position. ========================================== Hippocratic Oath -- Classical Version I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant: To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art - if they desire to learn it - without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else. I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work. Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves. What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about. If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot. Translation from the Greek by Ludwig Edelstein. From The Hippocratic Oath: Text, Translation, and Interpretation, by Ludwig Edelstein. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1943. Hippocratic Oath -- Modern Version I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant: I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow. I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism. I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug. I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery. I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God. I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick. I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure. I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm. If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help. Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today. The Hippocratic Oath Today: Meaningless Relic or Invaluable Moral Guide? (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors/oath_today.html) The Hippocratic Oath (see ancient and modern versions) is one of the oldest binding documents in history. Written in antiquity, its principles are held sacred by doctors to this day: treat the sick to the best of one's ability, preserve patient privacy, teach the secrets of medicine to the next generation, and so on. "The Oath of Hippocrates," holds the American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics (1996 edition), "has remained in Western civilization as an expression of ideal conduct for the physician." Today, most graduating medical-school students swear to some form of the oath, usually a modernized version. Indeed, oath-taking in recent decades has risen to near uniformity, with just 24 percent of U.S. medical schools administering the oath in 1928 to nearly 100 percent today. Yet paradoxically, even as the modern oath's use has burgeoned, its content has tacked away from the classical oath's basic tenets. According to a 1993 survey of 150 U.S. and Canadian medical schools, for example, only 14 percent of modern oaths prohibit euthanasia, 11 percent hold convenant with a deity, 8 percent foreswear abortion, and a mere 3 percent forbid sexual contact with patients -- all maxims held sacred in the classical version. The original calls for free tuition for medical students and for doctors never to "use the knife" (that is, conduct surgical procedures) -- both obviously out of step with modern-day practice. Perhaps most telling, while the classical oath calls for "the opposite" of pleasure and fame for those who transgress the oath, fewer than half of oaths taken today insist the taker be held accountable for keeping the pledge. Indeed, a growing number of physicians have come to feel that the Hippocratic Oath is inadequate to address the realities of a medical world that has witnessed huge scientific, economic, political, and social changes, a world of legalized abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and pestilences unheard of in Hippocrates' time. Some doctors have begun asking pointed questions regarding the oath's relevance: In an environment of increasing medical specialization, should physicians of such different stripes swear to a single oath? With governments and health-care organizations demanding patient information as never before, how can a doctor maintain a patient's privacy? Are physicians morally obligated to treat patients with such lethal new diseases as AIDS or the Ebola virus? Some doctors who recited the Hippocratic Oath as a student now call it the "Hypocritic Oath." Other physicians are taking broader aim. Some claim that the principles enshrined in the oath never constituted a shared core of moral values, that the oath's pagan origins and moral cast make it antithetical to beliefs held by Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Others note that the classical Oath makes no mention of such contemporary issues as the ethics of experimentation, team care, or a doctor's societal or legal responsibilities. (Most modern oaths, in fact, are penalty-free, with no threat to potential transgressors of loss of practice or even of face.) With all this in mind, some doctors see oath-taking as little more than a pro-forma ritual with little value beyond that of upholding tradition. "The original oath is redolent of a convenant, a solemn and binding treaty," writes Dr. David Graham in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association (12/13/00). "By contrast, many modern oaths have a bland, generalized air of 'best wishes' about them, being near-meaningless formalities devoid of any influence on how medicine is truly practiced." Some physicians claim what they call the "Hypocritic Oath" should be radically modified or abandoned altogether. The AMA Code of Medical Ethics is a very large set of rules, policies, and guidelines to address ethical issues that may arise in the medical field (especially as involves the legal and business domain). See for more details. A random selection of policies (from the alphabetical index) is listed below with the policy section number in parentheses: Dating patients  8.14 Death    certification of 2.06   determination of 2.06, 2.16, 2.162   informing families 8.18   intentionally causing 2.20, 2.21, 2.211 Deceptive advertising 5.01, 5.02 Delinquent accounts    interest charges 6.08   withholding medical records 7.01 Medical testimony 9.07 Medical trainees 9.055 Minors (see also incompetent persons)    confidential care for 5.055   genetic testing 2.138 Conflicts of interest 8.03   biomedical research 8.031   capitation 8.051   drugs and devices 8.06, 8.07, 8.135   fee splitting 6.02, 6.03, 6.04   gifts to physicians 8.061, 8.07

6 Codification How are codes developed?
As the result of professional or public reaction following an engineering disaster or major failure. (see Boston Molasses Disaster) As a result of proactive policy making by professional societies.

7 Codes of Ethics Institute of Industrial Engineering (IIE)
Endorses the Code of Ethics established by ABET (Accreditation Board for Education in Technology) Fundamental Principles (4) and Canons (7) National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Fundamental Canons (6) Rules of Practice (5) Professional Obligations (9) Insert your profession’s Code of Ethics here. Industrial Engineering (adopted from ABET) shown in current slide.

8 ABET (IIE) Code of Ethics
Fundamental Principles--engineers uphold and advance the integrity, honor and dignity of the engineering profession by: Using their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare; Being honest and impartial, and serving with fidelity the public, their employers and clients; Striving to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession; and Supporting the professional and technical societies of their disciplines.

9 ABET (IIE) Code of Ethics
The Fundamental Canons Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties. Engineers shall perform services only in the areas of their competence. Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.

10 ABET (IIE) Code of Ethics
The Fundamental Canons Engineers shall build their professional reputation on the merit of their services and shall not compete unfairly with others. Engineers shall associate only with reputable persons or organizations. Engineers shall continue their professional development throughout their careers and shall provide opportunities for the professional development of those engineers under their supervision.

11 NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers
Preamble Engineering is an important and learned profession. As members of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.

12 NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers
Fundamental Canons--engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall: Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. Perform services only in areas of their competence. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner. Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees. Avoid deceptive acts. Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.

13 NSPE Rules of Practice Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public. If engineers' judgment is overruled under circumstances that endanger life or property, they shall notify their employer or client and such other authority as may be appropriate. Engineers shall approve only those engineering documents that are in conformity with applicable standards. Engineers shall not reveal facts, data or information without the prior consent of the client or employer except as authorized or required by law or this Code. Engineers shall not permit the use of their name or associate in business ventures with any person or firm that they believe are engaged in fraudulent or dishonest enterprise. Engineers having knowledge of any alleged violation of this Code shall report thereon to appropriate professional bodies and, when relevant, also to public authorities, and cooperate with the proper authorities in furnishing such information or assistance as may be required.

14 NSPE Rules of Practice Engineers shall perform services only in the areas of their competence. Engineers shall undertake assignments only when qualified by education or experience in the specific technical fields involved. Engineers shall not affix their signatures to any plans or documents dealing with subject matter in which they lack competence, nor to any plan or document not prepared under their direction and control. Engineers may accept assignments and assume responsibility for coordination of an entire project and sign and seal the engineering documents for the entire project, provided that each technical segment is signed and sealed only by the qualified engineers who prepared the segment.

15 NSPE Rules of Practice Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner. Engineers shall be objective and truthful in professional reports, statements, or testimony. They shall include all relevant and pertinent information in such reports, statements, or testimony, which should bear the date indicating when it was current. Engineers may express publicly technical opinions that are founded upon knowledge of the facts and competence in the subject matter. Engineers shall issue no statements, criticisms, or arguments on technical matters that are inspired or paid for by interested parties, unless they have prefaced their comments by explicitly identifying the interested parties on whose behalf they are speaking, and by revealing the existence of any interest the engineers may have in the matters.

16 NSPE Rules of Practice Engineers shall act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees. Engineers shall disclose all known or potential conflicts of interest that could influence or appear to influence their judgment or the quality of their services. Engineers shall not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one party for services on the same project, or for services pertaining to the same project, unless the circumstances are fully disclosed and agreed to by all interested parties. Engineers shall not solicit or accept financial or other valuable consideration, directly or indirectly, from outside agents in connection with the work for which they are responsible. Engineers in public service as members, advisors, or employees of a governmental or quasi-governmental body or department shall not participate in decisions with respect to services solicited or provided by them or their organizations in private or public engineering practice. Engineers shall not solicit or accept a contract from a governmental body on which a principal or officer of their organization serves as a member.

17 NSPE Rules of Practice Engineers shall avoid deceptive acts.
Engineers shall not falsify their qualifications or permit misrepresentation of their or their associates' qualifications. They shall not misrepresent or exaggerate their responsibility in or for the subject matter of prior assignments. Brochures or other presentations incident to the solicitation of employment shall not misrepresent pertinent facts concerning employers, employees, associates, joint ventures, or past accomplishments. Engineers shall not offer, give, solicit or receive, either directly or indirectly, any contribution to influence the award of a contract by public authority, or which may be reasonably construed by the public as having the effect of intent to influencing the awarding of a contract. They shall not offer any gift or other valuable consideration in order to secure work. They shall not pay a commission, percentage, or brokerage fee in order to secure work, except to a bona fide employee or bona fide established commercial or marketing agencies retained by them.

18 NSPE Professional Obligations
Engineers shall be guided in all their relations by the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineers shall at all times strive to serve the public interest. Engineers shall avoid all conduct or practice that deceives the public. Engineers shall not disclose, without consent, confidential information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former client or employer, or public body on which they serve. Engineers shall not be influenced in their professional duties by conflicting interests. Engineers shall not attempt to obtain employment or advancement or professional engagements by untruthfully criticizing other engineers, or by other improper or questionable methods.

19 NSPE Professional Obligations
Engineers shall not attempt to injure, maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects, practice, or employment of other engineers. Engineers who believe others are guilty of unethical or illegal practice shall present such information to the proper authority for action. Engineers shall accept personal responsibility for their professional activities, provided, however, that Engineers may seek indemnification for services arising out of their practice for other than gross negligence, where the Engineer's interests cannot otherwise be protected. Engineers shall give credit for engineering work to those to whom credit is due, and will recognize the proprietary interests of others.

20 Major Ethics Case Studies
Focus on the major technological disasters and catastrophes in engineering Module 4 in the “Teaching Engineering Ethics” Series

21 Outline of Material Major Ethical Impact = Macro-ethics
Micro-ethics (the individual and the situation) Macro-ethics (systemic issues) Ethics as a “Design Problem” Engineer as a Moral Agent Analogies: Design and Ethics Decisions Case: The Space Shuttle Challenger

22 Macro-Ethical Issues Safety, Loss of Life, Catastrophic Failures
Typically Newsworthy Items The Space Shuttle Challenger* Bhopal—Union Carbide* The Ford Pinto Firestone and Ford Explorer tires Three Mile Island / Chernobyl Nuclear Reactors Kansas City Hyatt Suspended Walkway Boston Molasses Tank Accident* Indicative of systemic problems (beyond simple engineering and day-to-day ethics) The following cases are documented in the Instructor Binder as well as online: The Space Shuttle Challenger* Extensive coverage in instructor binder (and online) Bhopal—Union Carbide* Coverage in instructor binder (and online) The Ford Pinto* Coverage in instructor binder, PowerPoint (and online) Firestone and Ford Explorer tires Three Mile Island / Chernobyl Nuclear Reactors* Coverage in instructor binder (and online) Kansas City Hyatt Suspended Walkway* Extensive coverage in instructor binder, PowerPoint (and online) Boston Molasses Tank Accident*Extensive coverage in instructor binder, PowerPoint (and online)

23 Ethics as a Design Problem
The engineer as a moral agent Moral problems …are practical problems (they demand a response) …are not multiple-choice problems Design Process Recognize and Evaluate the Problem Devise solutions Evaluate solutions Choose from the alternatives The “devise solutions” phase is typically shortchanged in the ethics judgment process or artificially constrained to a limited set of alternatives

24 Ethics as a Design Problem
How ethics “sound bites” oversimplify the ethical reasoning process: “Do the right thing” Portrays the problem as having an exclusive solution set “Should [the agent] do X or Y” Portrays the problem as a binary multiple-choice solution set with no latitude for creating alternatives Exploits a limited “win-lose” or “lose-win” paradigm “There are no right or wrong answers” Indicative of a “moral relativism” philosophy or simply that there is no uniquely correct solution In reality, there can be solutions that are better than others and which can be prioritized Also, solutions can each comprise a unique and special advantage

25 Ethics as a Design Problem
What solutions sets exist for a given set of specifications or ethical constraints? Solution Set Population Probability Wrong Solutions Always No Solution Possible One Single Exclusive and Acceptable Solution Unlikely Multiple Solutions: All Equally Acceptable Multiple Solutions: Orthogonal Acceptability Very Likely

26 Ethics as a Design Problem
Lessons from design problems: Consider the Uncertainties in the Situation Ambiguities often underemphasized in professional ethics Decisions to be made: Whether to gather additional evidence How to address the issues with others How to elicit support for the moral concern Determining possible solutions is separate from defining the problem and may require more information Time Pressure is real and demands searching for multiple alternative solutions in parallel The ethical situation may be dynamically changing; decisions should not be made on an old “snapshot” of the situation


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