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Kevin Engel

CPRE 394
April 4, 2014
1) What is the purpose of having/following a "Code of Ethics"?
The document Code of Ethics provides an organized compilation of essential valued responsibilities and
acts to hold accountable those who have committed to it. Its goal to create an engineering workplace with
the following qualities: honesty, fairness, integrity, safety, and continued learning. This is especially
important due to the impact the engineering profession has on the rest of the world.

2) When you are faced with an ethical situation, how do you, personally, go about
making a decision? What factors are involved in making your decision? Be specific!
When faced with an ethical situation, I would follow the steps described in the 5 Ps of Ethics document.
I would first investigate the cause of the problem in order to target the root as opposed to possible
branches. Once the root cause is understood, I would apply a combination of my core ethical values, the
IEEE Code of Ethics, and finally the companys code of ethics with the root cause of the ethical situation
in mind. Other factors that I would involve in my decision would be my bosss opinion, my familys
opinion, and possible outcomes from my decisions.

3) What case study was discussed in your small group? How did the ethical
considerations introduced by your group members differ from your own? How were
they alike? Was your group able to come to a consensus on what the most "ethical"
decision would be?
I reviewed the Ford Pinto Case Study. The consensus was that the ethical decisions made by the
engineers were completely irresponsible, dishonest, and frankly sickening. The most ethical decision by
the engineers who fully understood the design and its flaws should have been to not sign off on the
design, and not allow it to go into production. In addition the engineers should have notified the public
about the dangers of the car after it had been accepted for production.

4) Reflect on the "Virtue of Ethics" as it relates to the case study your group
discussed. Choose three of the six virtues that you feel are most related to your case
study and briefly write about them. Why did you choose the three you did? How are
they relevant to the case study? Why are the other virtues less relevant? Is there
another ethical virtue you feel could apply to your case study that is NOT included in the
"Virtue of Ethics?" Why or why not?
The 3 virtues from the Virute of Ethics document most relatable to the Ford Pinto Case Study are the
Integrity: the engineers did not have strong moral principles, and valued profits over the well-being of
others. They were fully aware of the problems with the design - as seen in their calculations of court
costs from victims and did nothing to prevent this.
Responsibility: the engineers proved to be unreliable and undependable as seen by their willingness to
sign off on an unsafe design.
Honesty: the engineers proved to be dishonest as seen by their disregard to acknowledge the public
about their designs safety flaws.

The other virtues are less relevant simply because their definitions are unrelated to the root ethics of the
case study; that is creating reliable and safe products for other peoples use.
Another ethical virtue that should apply to the case study is Charity, due to its similarities to
Responsibility in that they both address compassion towards others.