8: Case Studies: Chernobyl, Three Mile Island | Summary and Q&A

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June 6, 2022
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8: Case Studies: Chernobyl, Three Mile Island

TL;DR

The lecture discusses the Ford Pinto case and explores the ethical implications of the decisions made by individuals involved.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Who was Echold, and how could his actions be defended ethically?

Echold was the Director of Automotive Safety at Ford and he concluded, based on a cost-benefit analysis, that it was not worth adding a safety feature to the Ford Pinto. Ethically, he may argue that his responsibility as a manager was to prioritize financial considerations and follow legal contracts with the company.

Q: Is there a way to apply the concept of informed consent to the Ford Pinto case?

Informed consent could be applied by engineers alerting higher management or other authorities about safety concerns and potential risks associated with the Pinto. By doing so, they could inform the public and allow them to make an informed decision before purchasing the vehicle.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The lecture discusses the Ford Pinto case, focusing on the decisions made by individuals involved in the production and sale of the vehicle.

  • The lecturer emphasizes the importance of improvement and ethical argumentation in engineering ethics, encouraging students to strive for defensible arguments.

  • The concept of ethical responsibility in relation to contracts and the Nuremberg principle is introduced and applied to the Ford Pinto case.

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