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Some Recent Engineering Ethics Cases That Have Come to the IEEE



Author(s) Stephen H. Unger
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IEEE Cases 1999 - Intensive Care

George Ames, a young software engineer worked for a hospital computer department. He was assigned to work with the people in the intensive care unit (ICU). The computer group was working on the interface between a piece of commercial data processing software and various units in the ICU, including real-time patient monitoring devices.

From the manager down, the computer group was not technically up to the mark in experience or in education. They were falling significantly behind schedule. George learned that they were seriously considering cutting back on testing in order to close the schedule gap. Appalled at this idea, George argued strongly against it. In this case, his arguments had some effect, but he was nevertheless given the clear impression that his prospects with this organization were now significantly impaired. Apparently, part of the problem had to do with a reluctance on the part of higher management to clash with the physician who headed the computer group. George felt that the basic problem was incompetence and he did not see how he could be effective on his own in combating it.

From:  Some Recent Engineering Ethics Cases That Have Come to the IEEE

Author:  Stephen H. Unger

Columbia University

Presented at the OEC International Conference on Ethics in Engineering and Computer Science, March 1999

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Cite this page: "IEEE Cases 1999 - Intensive Care" Online Ethics Center for Engineering 7/27/2009 OEC Accessed: Friday, August 16, 2019 <>