Embedded systems are often called on to perform safety critical tasks inaide of, or independent to, human operators. Creating these systems, as in allengineering disciplines, causes engineers to consider their actions and theethical implications of the systems they create. Engineering as a professionencourages the view that the public good must outweigh all other factors whendetermining the course of action for an engineer. Unfortunately, not allsituations are morally well defined and engineers will be called upon bythemselves, their company, or society to make profound, or more often,personally conflicting decisions.
In this section we will discuss some possible conflicts that may occur ineveryday engineering along with some possible situations that may not occur ineveryday engineering. Every engineer will have at least some morally perplexingevents in their career. We will discuss some resources that may be of use toengineers as a reference. In the end we will conclude with a brief overview andthe realization that ethics are as personal as each engineer's moral code.
How much is the cost of saving a life? Embedded engineers are oftencalled to design systems which are safety critical. For example, anotherhypothetical engineer is designing a medical system. This medical systemadministers medication to an intravenous drip at a specified amount and for aspecified period of time. You are the engineer on the design of thecontrol system for this medication system. You have added many safetyscreens to the user interface in order to make sure that the doctor or nursehas appropriately set the dosage. You also add a safety feature in whichthe device stops working after a certain period of time to make sure that ithas been calibrated in order to not deliver the incorrect dosage. Yourmanager puts a lot of pressure on you to remove the extra safetytime-out. He believes that the company could sell more units if thesafety lock out wasn't installed in the unit; the unit would cost less, and theusers won't have to confront a possibly annoying time out. What do youdo? Do you remove the lockout and simply advise in the documentation tocalibrate the unit periodically? What if you know that the unit willdrift out of calibration eventually? What happens if you leave the safetylock out in the device, and it stops working when it is supposed to bedelivering medication to a patient? It is difficult, especially whencreating safety critical systems, to know what is the right thing to do.
There are four main levels of ethical levels within organizations. The first level is societal issues. These are the top-level issues relating to the world as a whole, which deal with questions such as the morality of child labor worldwide. Deeper-level societal issues might include the role (if any) of capitalism in poverty, for example. Most companies do not operate at this level of ethics, although some companies, such as Tom’s Shoes, feel it is their responsibility to ensure everyone has shoes to wear. As a result, their “one for one” program gives one pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair of shoes purchased. Concern for the environment, for example, would be another way a company can focus on societal-level issues. This level of ethics involves areas of emotional intelligence we have discussed, specifically, an individual’s empathy and social awareness. Many companies take a stand on societal ethics in part for marketing but also in part because of the ethics the organization creates due to the care and concern for individuals.
Our second level of ethics is stakeholder’s issues. A is anyone affected by a company’s actions. In this level, businesses must deal with policies that affect their customers, employees, suppliers, and people within the community. For example, this level might deal with fairness in wages for employees or notification of the potential dangers of a company’s product. For example, McDonald’s was sued in 2010 because the lure of Happy Meal toys were said to encourage children to eat unhealthy food. This is a stakeholder issue for McDonald’s, since it affects customers. Although the case was dismissed in April 2012, the stakeholder issue revolves around the need for companies to balance healthy choices and its marketing campaigns.
Some companies have 1-800 numbers, run by outside vendors, that allow employees to anonymously inform about ethics violations within the company. Someone who informs law enforcement of ethical or illegal violations is called a . For example, Dr. Mitchell Magid worked as an oral surgeon for Sanford Health in North Dakota. When he reported numerous safety violations, he claimed he was fired from his job. In an initial ruling, Dr. Magid was awarded $900,000 for the firing, although Sanford Health claims he was fired for other reasons and will appeal the case. In the United States, several laws protect whistleblowers. For example, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) protects whistleblowers when they report safety violations. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has a whistleblower statute, which protects employees who whistleblows on wrongful financial dealings within an organization.
A company publicizes its values statements but often an internal is put into place in order to ensure employees follow company values set forth and advertised to the public. The code of conduct is a guideline for dealing with ethics in the organization. The code of conduct can outline many things, and often companies offer training in one or more of these areas:
When making decisions within our organizations, many companies have codes of conduct and ethical standards that must be abided by. This is to make sure everyone in the company follows the same ethics, since ethics can vary from person to person.
It is important to have an ethical organization in order to have ethicalengineers. For example, Ford after having discovered that the ill fatedPinto may cath fire in an accident, decided not to change the design of thecar. Ford had decided, from a business and legal perspective, that thevalue of a human life, was cheaper than the design change. Ford laterrealized that the cost of goodwill and brand image was much more expensive thanthe cost of a human life for them. While this example relates how Fordmade a single design decision, it is important to understand the relationshipbetween the organization and the engineer. An engineer in an organizationthat can make an ethical decision not to change an unsafe design will notsupport an engineer trying to add cost to a design simply for safety's sake.
Such topics lead to sweeping generalizations as well as to hypothetical examples and bold, unjustified claims."
SUBJECT REPORT, 2013
"In addition, the presentation should be able to show how the process of application extends beyond the original situation to others, thus demonstrating why the presentation is important and relevant in a wider sense."
RLS: Attempted assassination of Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai.
KQ: Why do we need a tragedy before we act on knowledge that we have?
RLS: Renaming of cities in India
KQ: To what extent do labels affect our perception?
RLS: Article on climate evolution
KQ: To what extent is a scientific explanation more convincing than other explanations?
RLS: UN warns of looming food crisis in 2013
KQ: How do we know what is a fact?
RLS: Bullfighting ban in Catalonia
KQ: How can we know when a tradition should be upheld?
RLS: The Ekeko amulet of the Andean Altiplano believed to bring monetary
wealth to its worshipper.
KQ: Why do people hold beliefs for which there is no evidence?
RLS: Wiki Leaks and the publication of secret information and news leaks.
KQ: To what extent is emotion a better guide to what is ethical than reason?
RLS: Salvador Dalí, an eccentric person
KQ: To what extent does it matter to know about an artist to understand his other art?
SUBJECT REPORT, 2013
DO NOT READ YOUR PRESENTATION
"A presenter turning his or her back on the audience in order to read large quantities of text from a projector (or reading from a script) is not delivering material in a manner consistent with the intentions of the task ...
USE WOKS & TOK CONCEPTS.
SUBJECT REPORT, 2013
RELATE YOUR KQ TO OTHER REAL LIFE SITUATIONS, PREFERABLY IN OTHER AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
IF YOU LOOKED AT LANGUAGE RELATED TO THE NATURAL SCIENCES AND GLOBAL WARMING, LOOK AT A RLS, POSSIBLY, FROM HISTORY WHERE THE USE OF EMOTIVE LANGUAGE PLAYS A ROLE IN BELIEF/UNDERSTANDING
IAIN MELVILLE, FORMER DP COORDINATOR, VICTORIA SHANGHAI ACADEMY, HONG KONG.
JEFF TAYLOR: FOR USING PARTS OF HIS PREZI ON THE TOK PRESENTATION IN THE "TIPS" SECTION
THE TOK COORDINATOR AT CHRIST'S HOSPITAL HIGH SCHOOL FOR RESOURCES IN THE "EXAMPLES" SECTION
WE WILL TALK MORE ABOUT THIS LATER.
described clearly the real-life situation that forms the launching point for the presentation?
extracted and clearly formulated a single knowledge question from the real-life situation?
identified and explored various perspectives in relation to the knowledge question, and deployed examples and arguments in the service of this exploration?
related the findings of and insights from the analysis back to the chosen real-life situation and showed how they might be relevant to other real-life situations?
REMEMBER ALL KNOWLEDGE QUESTIONS ARE ABOUT THE CONSTRUCTION/DISCOVERY/NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE!
IF YOU NEED HELP CONSULT KQ RESOURCES ON THE TOK WEEBLY!
Does not mention the Real Life Situation, but is applicable to it AND others.
"How do the sources we use impact the conclusions we reach?"
"What is the value of consensus in the acceptance of knowledge?"
TAKE TIME AND CARE TO FILL OUT YOUR PAPERWORK.
WE WATCH YOUR PRESENTATION, DISCUSS IT, AND AWARD A LEVEL.
These codes of ethics may provide some moral guidance, but they are not thefinal answer in ethical dilemmas. Members of the ethics committees may bewilling to talk to you anonymously, but they cannot help you professionally orlegally. It is important to know that in general, the professionalsocieties will not defend their members. The professional members mayhelp prosecute their members, and force their members from their societies, butit is very unlikely that they will come to your defense. So while you mayfind some unofficial consoling from your respective professional society, donot expect official help from them.