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Teaching product liability as an ethical issue in engineering and computer science

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2 Author(s)
Herkert, J.R. ; Div. of Multidisciplinary Studies, North Carolina State Univ., USA ; O'Connell, B.M.

This paper discusses the ethical implications of product liability and strategies for teaching product liability as an ethical issue to engineering and computer science students. The product liability climate can have substantial impact on the working environment of engineers charged with product safety. Many product liability controversies turn on the notion of "standard of care", which has both legal and ethical dimensions. The importance of product liability as an ethical issue can be demonstrated for students by considering the well-known Therac-25 and McDonald's coffee cases as well as less-publicized but more common cases involving appliances and hand tools. Such cases not only illuminate ethical issues and dilemmas posed by product liability claims and policy, but also help to clarify the relationship between law and ethics.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education, 2003. FIE 2003 33rd Annual  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

5-8 Nov. 2003