Ethics to make decisions that necessitate to take into

Ethics
Mid-termOmar
Siyoufi20156389  1) In the U.S.A alone one third
of engineering schools require all students to take courses in
ethics. Shows just how little attention is given about how engineers function
when making decisions Before we begin we have to know what engineering ethics
is. Engineering ethics:
is  a system where we apply ethics and
moral obligations related in engineering.  Which is closely associated with morality. To
clarify  both ethics and morals refer to
right and wrong. However ethics are rules provided by an outside source.
Morals on the other hand point to a person’s principles regarding what
is right and what is wrong. It is of the utmost concern that engineer care for
the well-being and safety of the public.Awareness in ethics is crucial. Engineers are constantly doing decisions
which will either have a positive or negative impact on society.  All engineers have to make decisions  that  necessitate to take into
consideration the ethical standpoint. Engineering ethics
is the study of the decisions, policies, and values that are morally desirable
in engineering practice and research.  This shows that ethics elaborates on how to
make decisions. It is a guiding mechanism for all engineers. The main aim in
studying ethics is due to the fact that it contributes to a safer world but
more importantly teaches engineers to deal effectively with moral dilemmas. By
teaching Ethics engineers will gain moral self-governance. Which is a skill and
instills it rational thinking into our everyday thinking which removes making
clouded judgments. Creates the basis of moral concern and commitment. Why
should engineers be taught about ethics? To reduce hazards which is posed by
technologies all around us (Example: Will the car function properly?, Will the
plane work safely?). To give an example on the matter, imagine a car crash with
a faulty air bag your injuries could be made worse regardless whether you or
someone else caused the car crash. Everyday people put their trust in them,
assuming they will make sure that the their work (product, bridge car, etc.) is
tested and safe. They assume that we are making moral decisions when making or
building things. Imagine two experienced engineers. Engineer A and Engineer B
who are exceptional in their jobs both helped design a plane.  Engineer
A took into consideration the code of ethics when
building/designing the plane as he was taught about it in school and applies it
into his everyday decisions. 1.    
Hold paramount the safety, health, and
welfare of the public.2.    
Perform services only in areas of their
competence.3.    
Issue public statements only in an objective
and truthful manner.4.    
Act for each employer or client as faithful
agents or trustees.5.    
Avoid deceptive acts.6.    
Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly,
ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and
usefulness of the profession. Engineer B was not taught about the code of ethics
of engineers.  If this
knowledge was made to the public most would prefer engineer A to design it. As
he seems to care about the public’s safety. Why? Because people feel safer
riding something designed by someone who took people’s lives and safety into
account. Moving on, sometimes
engineers sign a contract to design a building where the client wants to save
money by removing a safety structure( eg: don’t make it earthquake proof). He
is now bound to his contract and has to respect his client’s wishes due to the
signed contract. Now let’s say hypothetically, that the building collapses and
kills everyone in it. An investigation will take place and reason will be
found. After finding that the reason was due to safety feature not built in,
the government of country X issued a new law requiring all buildings must meet
a list of safety requirements when designing a new building.  Just like the Tacoma narrows bridge collapse
where it was due to incompetent engineering. This raises the question: Are
mistakes and failure an acceptable cost for human progression in all occasions? So an
engineer that was not taught about any ethics related courses, will still
progress through his career. However he will face many trial an errors
scenarios that he can learn from but also could have been prevented if he had
known about how to act and rationally think when making decisions. An engineer
who was taught about ethics might still have good moral reasoning (what he
regards as right or wrong). He however, will not be able to act through a code
of ethics, which have been carefully studied and reviewed by many engineers to
insure the world of engineers runs smoothly and safely. Engineers can prevent
disasters if they have a code implanted in them that tells them how to act and
make decisions in certain situations. Ethics come from an external social
system. A person following ethics might not have any morals at all.  Ethics are governed by competent and legal
directions which can be applied in our everyday decisions    Similarities between the two code of ethics    PREAMBLESPoint number 1-NSPE’s code of ethics’ Preamble: states
the engineers expected to exhibit the highest standards of
honesty and integrity -Code of Judicial conduct: An independent, fair and
impartial judiciary is indispensable to our system of justice. Both here are similar in a sense that they are stating
they are expected to be fair and honest and hold integrity.  Point number 2 -NSPE code of ethics: Engineering has a direct
and vital impact on the quality of life for all people – Judiciary code: Based on the principle that
an independent, impartial, and competent judiciary, composed of men and women
of integrity, will interpret and apply the law that governs our society Both are involved in people’s lives. They both affect society
in their own way. Both follow their own code to improve society. Governing a
society correctly can have a positive impact on the quality of life so in a
way, they are similar. Point number 3Code of ethics:
Services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and
equity dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare Judicial code:
Preserving the principles of justice and the rule of law judges, individually
and collectively, must respect and honor the judicial office as a public trust
and strive to maintain and enhance confidence in the legal system Both are dedicating themselves to their cause. The
engineer follows the code of ethics to protect the public welfare with all he
can with fairness, impartiality and fairness. The judicial code as a group or
as individuals also strives or dedicates itself to maintaining  and enhancing their system of code.   Point number 4Ethics: Standard
of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of
ethical conduct Judicial code:  Maintaining the highest standards of
professional and personal conduct, as it affects their judicial work.Both have to adhere to the highest standards. Which
goes to show it is basically the same thing but for a different people. The
idea is the same and both are doing it to honor their work.        Canon 2 Ethics:  Perform
services only in areas of their competence Judicial code: A judge shall perform the duties of
judicial office impartially, competently, and diligently Both have to their work competently. However the
engineering code of ethics states that if he is not competent then he should
not perform any services in that field of work. While the judicial code expects
him to be competent, since he knows what he is doing. Same fundamentals
different circumstances. A judge’s personal judiciary work shall not be
conducted in such a way as to hamper the obligations of judicial office in an
unjust manner. Generally incompetence denotes the inability to
do a job to a satisfactory standard. If the employee is done with his
assigned work and has done so without any errors he is considered competent.
Both canons require excellency in their work. Meaning, far less errors, which
at times could be costly. Example of incompetency: The 1986 challenger disaster was due to the
failure of the solid rocket booster O-rings to seal properly allowed hot
combustion gases to leak from the side of the booster and burn through the
external fuel tank. The failure of the O-ring was attributed to several
factors, including faulty design of the solid rocket boosters, insufficient
low-temperature testing of the O-ring material and of the joints that the
O-ring sealed, and lack of proper communication between different levels of
NASA management. This
goes to shows how these mistakes cost the astronauts their lives, due to
incompetence in their jobs. This proves that this rule was put in the code for
a reason. To ensure everything is done with mindset of effectiveness and
efficiency. Canon 4 ethics: Act
for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees judiciary: A
judge shall not engage in political or campaign activity that is inconsistent
with the independence, integrity, or impartiality of the judiciaryWhen you read it as it, it does not look very similar.
However both have to hold their integrity when working. In rule 4B in the code of ethics it states that
engineers shall not accept compensation, financial which is in a way a bribe. Canon 5 (code of ethics only)Engineers shall not be influenced in their
professional duties by conflicting interests.  part a) Engineers shall not accept financial
or other considerations, including free engineering designs, from material or
equipment suppliers for specifying their product. part b) Engineers shall not accept commissions or
allowances, directly or indirectly, from contractors or other parties dealing
with clients or employers of the engineer in connection with work for which the
engineer is responsible.   In rule 3&4’s code of judiciary,3) publicly endorse
or oppose a candidate for any public office; (4) solicit funds for, pay an
assessment, or make a contribution to a political organization. Both are prohibited from using money to advance their
agenda or use it with an ulterior motive. Solicit is getting a direct request
made by a judge for financial support. Also in rule 3c in the code of ethics Engineers
shall issue no statements, criticisms, or arguments on technical matters that
are inspired or paid for by interested parties. In some places around the world, corruption runs
rampant. Sticking to the standards of ethical practice is not expected. When
accepting tampered money/funds, you are endorsing bribery and throwing away
your principles. Rendering it obsolete to the public as they lose their trust
in the system. The code seems simple enough. Be honest and respect your
client/employer, no compensation and so on. Yet they are disputed across the
globe. These standards of code may work in the United States, however in
different parts of the world these are considered business activities. This
poses another problem, because if they do follow the code then they are in a
way restricted or handicapped in the market place. Both specifically prohibit any ill means to progress your
career or personal agenda. If people follow the codes and use it for day to day
decision, they are strengthening the cause to follow the codes and showing
people the good can be done.  3) One Ms Walsh’s ethical responsibilities are to Hold
paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public
according to NSPE’s code of ethics. The most affected here are the people/clients. In the
question it states that there have been multiple scenarios as well as cases.
This tell us that the problem has been going on for a while with no fix in
site.  She is a software developer who
has to hold the safety and welfare of the public. In this scenario Ms Walsh is
putting clients in undesirable situations. NSPE’s Code of Ethics makes it clear that the engineer has an ethical
obligation to act in a professional matter. This code of ethics is violated
when Ms Walsh does not apply the code to her professional work as a software
engineer. It is her ethical responsibility to notify the hierarchy. The
situation calls for a fix on the issue. Since no one is aware of the problem
she must not delay the implementation of the solution any further. 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. This clearly states she has to notify the higher
ups and work accordingly. In the code of ethics Professional obligations 1a,
Engineers shall acknowledge their errors and shall not distort or alter the
facts.Is Ms Walsh considered distorting the fact by simply
ignoring it? She acknowledged her error and must act on a solution
according with the code of ethics. In general engineers are expected to act on
the code of ethics in providing high quality assurance. It also states in the
professional obligationthat 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  also conform with state
registration laws in the practice of engineering. It is clear as day that she
is bound by her ethical obligations to make sure the problem is fixed and the process
runs through the proper channels (telling her boss) of ethical dilemmas and is
dealt with in the least amount of time. It also states 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. a. Engineers shall not, without the consent of all interested
parties, promote or arrange for new employment or practice in connection with a
specific project for which the engineer has gained particular and specialized
knowledge. b. Engineers shall not, without the consent of all interested
parties, participate in or represent an adversary interest in connection with a
specific project or proceeding in which the engineer has gained particular
specialized knowledge on behalf of a former client or employer. In spite of all
that it would still be ethical for Ms Walsh to ignore this information and not
mention anything about the issue to anyone as long as corrective action is
taken within a relatively short period of time under these circumstances.   If Ms Walsh has no ethical responsibilitiesMs Walsh is working as a consultant not as a software
engineer. Her job is of advisory level. Sure she is a software engineer.
However they are paying her for her professional opinion to consult and not
identify glitches. . Engineers shall
perform services only in the areas of their competence as well as undertake assignments
only when qualified. She has no experience in the software since it was
originally designed and implemented by another company. Technically she can
refuse to evaluate the glitch as it’s not her job as a consultant. Engineers
and firms may individually refuse to bid for engineering services. As a
consultant she is not bound to find the glitch. She could refuse to do the task
legally speaking. 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. She
is responsible for the company does not have to disclose any information to the
public even though some might think they have a right to know. The original
designer of the company no longer has a contract with CR-Data which caused the
glitch. As I previously said Engineers shall perform services
only in the areas of their competence. 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. The engineers
who prepared the segment are longer reachable by the company. And since she was
not the one who designed. She has no ethical responsibility on the matter.  Clearly she has no ethical obligations and
could choose to ignore the situation and let the hierarchy decide on another
person. In conclusion even though she might have moral obligations she is no
way breaking the code of ethics.  In
conclusion it shows there are a conflict of ethical obligations as it depends
on Ms. Walsh perspective of things. The code of ethics clearly imply she has
moral obligations but can still be interpreted with no ethical obligation only
with moral responsibilities.   4) 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. The code of ethics is clear in explaining the situation. Mr. Peterson
must act as a faithful employee and not work side project without notifying his
government agency of the situation at hand. It is obvious the there are
conflict of interest. First off, what exactly is a conflict of interest? When a
situation arises that benefits an employee while affecting your company, it
becomes a conflict of interest. And employees are bound through your company’s
code of conduct to act in the interests of their employer and not for their own
personal gain. Here Mr. Peterson is going behind the agency’s back . He
is violating the code of ethics by not full disclosing the information to his
employers.  The agency expects you to
turn down opportunities to use your engineering skills for personal gain. Even
if legally speaking, Mr. Peterson is not doing anything wrong, if the
government agency finds out he will look guilty. Meaning if he gets into this
situation he might get into a greater conflict of interest.  An example of this situation would be as
follows. Since Mr. Peterson is  working
part-time for Structures Inc. imagine if the government agency he works with
decide to do business with them. He is putting himself in a bad position since
it will involve a lot of secrecy and information hiding from the agency he
works for. His best option is to uphold the code of ethics and withdraw. Either
he asks his agency for approval or refrain from all part-time work.  Engineers
shall not attempt to obtain employment or advancement or professional
engagements by untruthfully criticizing other engineers, or by other improper
or questionable methods. Engineers in
salaried positions shall accept part-time engineering work only to the extent
consistent with policies of the employer and in accordance with ethical
considerations. The code reads that only to a certain extent may he accept a
part-time engineering job. Yet here he did quite the opposite as he violated
the code of ethics as he did not disclose any of this information to the
government agency he works for or think about the ethical dilemmas he might
face by doing so. Now if Mr. Peterson does inform the government agency he works then
things might turn out differently as stated Engineers in salaried positions
shall accept part-time engineering work only to the extent consistent with
policies of the employer and in accordance with ethical considerations. Which
means if he had notified his employers, he would have been allowed to
work and all he has to have done was follow rules. He would have gained their
trust, showing that he uphold the code of ethics and would not go behind their
back and work without their knowledge or consent.In
the professional obligations no. 6c, it reads, Engineers shall not, without
consent, use equipment, supplies, laboratory, or office facilities of an
employer to carry on outside private practice. A best case scenario is that
he informs them about his decision to work part-time.  As well as have access to the government
agency’s facilities and equipment as a sign of trust. He stands to gain as well
as market the agency’s work by doing so. Both parties would win in this
situation.  In a worst case scenario his
life would change for the worst.  Engineers
shall give credit for engineering work to those to whom credit is due, and will
recognize the proprietary interests of others. So if Mr. Peterson works for
Structures Inc. he is going to rely on some old data, designs, notes he used
when working for the agency. That however is the government agency’s property
and he should notify the government of his activities which could ruin his
career for not disclosing his under the table activities. What Ms Naomi is doing, is considered
unethical and here’s why. Consider the following example. Imagine  Mr. Peterson was responsible for a certain
design when working part time in an engineering project. Now Ms. Naomi signs
off on his drawings and designs. Now while checking the design Ms. Naomi
concurred that the drawings were prepared with caution. Alright now let us
imagine that Mr. Robertson started his engineering project at Structures inc, and
after a while they found out the their were faulty equipment.No one can predict what might happen. If however,
 hypothetically a death occurs due to the
faulty equipment.  She might not be
responsible or have predicted that would happen, yet if she followed the code
of ethics which clearly states Engineers
shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public, none of this would have happened since she would not
have signed off on any drawings with notifying a higher up. It is clear that
Ms. Naomi should follow Mr. Robertson’s interests as he is her boss and should
stay loyal to him and be faithful to him. This is what is called colliding
ethical dilemmas. This raise ethical dilemmas to the matter. Engineers shall
be guided in all their relations by the highest standards of honesty and
integrity. Engineers shall advise their clients or employers when they
believe a project will not be successful. Engineers shall not accept outside
employment to the detriment of their regular work or interest. Before accepting
any outside engineering employment, they will notify their employers. Clearly
Mr. Robertson and Ms. Naomi know about the code of ethics. Ms. Naomi could have
advised Mr. Robertson not to continue his part time job by refusing to sign off
 or approve any more papers until he
discloses the information to his employers or at the very least inform Ms.
Naomi of all the risks and possible outcomes of the part time job project.Engineers
shall at all times strive to serve the public interest. Engineers shall not
complete, sign, or seal plans and/or specifications that are not in conformity
with applicable engineering standards. If the client or employer insists on
such unprofessional conduct, they shall notify the proper authorities and
withdraw from further service on the project. Engineers are encouraged to
adhere to the principles of sustainable development in order to protect the
environment for future generations. The
code of ethics again proves that what Ms. Naomi did was in fact unethical.  As she did not fulfill her ethical obligation
by approving Mr. Peterson’s drawings. 5)  

 

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