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

Joseph R. Herkert, Brian M. O'Connell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference
Volume3
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
EventEngineering as a Human Endeavor: Partnering Community, Academia, Government, and Industry - Westminster, CO, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2003Nov 8 2003

Other

OtherEngineering as a Human Endeavor: Partnering Community, Academia, Government, and Industry
CountryUnited States
CityWestminster, CO
Period11/5/0311/8/03

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Keywords

  • Computer ethics
  • Engineering ethics
  • Product liability
  • Standard of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Cite this

Herkert, J. R., & O'Connell, B. M. (2003). Teaching product liability as an ethical issue in engineering and computer science. In Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference (Vol. 3)