Please note: This section is under development. Thank you for your patience as we add resources to this new section of the OEC.
This introduction to the Therac-25 case is for teachers of the case and provides a guide to the case from the inside or from the teacher’s perspective.
The safety of the Therac-25 is not really a property of the machine alone. Accidents that go unreported contribute to (or at least fail to stop) later accidents. When the TV camera in the room is unplugged, the operator cannot see that the patient is in trouble. So safety is really a property of the entire technical and social system (socio-technical system). In a similar manner, an ethical analysis of the issues in this case requires an awareness of the entire socio-technical system.
Describes how to use the ImpactCS approach to do an analysis of the Therac-25 case.