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Annotated Bibliography

Curd, Martin and May, Larry. "Professional Responsibility for Harmful Actions." Module Series in Applied Ethics, Center for the Studies of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1984.

This essay explores the grounds on which professionals should be held responsible for harms caused by their actions. Most examples used concern engineers, designers, and architects involved in real-life cases from tort law.

Davis, Michael, "Thinking Like An Engineer: The Place of a Code of Ethics in the Practice of a Profession." Philosophy & Public Affairs. Vol. 20, No. 2 (Spring 1991), pp. 150–167. (See also "Explaining Wrongdoing." Journal of Social Philosophy. Vol. 20, Numbers 1&2 (Spring/Fall 1989), pp. 74–90.

In these lucid essays, Davis argues that "a code of professional ethics is central to advising individual engineers how to conduct themselves, to judging their conduct, and ultimately to understanding engineering as a profession." Using the now-infamous Challenger disaster as his model, Davis discusses both the evolution of engineering ethics as well as why engineers should obey their professional codes of ethics, from both a pragmatic and a ethically responsible point of view. Essential reading for any graduating engineering student.

Muster, D. "Safety and Reasonable Danger as Design Criteria for Engineers: Some Effects of Products Liability Law on Engineering Design." Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B. Journal of Engineering Manufacture. Vol. 204, No. B3 (1990), pp. 185–190.

This paper discusses issues of safety and the concept of "unreasonable" danger in engineering design. Using a medical analogy, Muster argues that engineers must aim at forensic engineering, relying on moral considerations as well as technical considerations in design. He further discusses product liability laws and their impact on engineering design.

Faden, Ruth R. and Beauchamp, Tom L. A History and Theory of Informed Consent. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

This book defines and discusses the legal doctrine of informed consent by looking at tort and constitutional law as it applies to medical ethics. Although the book is written for medical ethicists, its message has value for engineering.

Friedlander, Mark C. "A Legislative Agenda to Curb Liability Lawsuits." Consulting/Specifying Engineer. Vol. 7 (March 1990), pp. 27–32.

As an attorney, Friedlander argues that professional societies must get involved in lobbying for legislation that protects engineers against frivolous malpractice claims.

Horne, Randall M. "Understanding Terra RRG Professional Liability Insurance." Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering. Vol. 116 (July 1990), pp. 239–249.

This article presents a case study of one insurance carrier. Horne discusses the importance of engineers' understanding liability insurance, especially given the rise in litigation in the past decades.

Karns, Jack P. "Economics, Ethics and Tort Remedies: Emerging Concept of Hedonic Value." Journal of Business Ethics. Vol. 9 (September 1990), pp. 707–713.

This article discusses a novel tort remedy, the Hedonic tort, based on the concept of quality of life factors and the theory of individual happiness. He argues that this tort remedy will have a significant impact on product design, as a move is made to ensure greater product safety.

"Liability of a Design Professional for Impact Costs of a Subcontractor." Civil Engineering (American Society of Civil Engineers). Vol. 59 (January 1989), p. 30.

Discusses how design engineers can be held responsible for negligence in both their work and the work of their subcontractors.

Moorman, Charlton Kent. "Does Ethical Engineering Practice Affect Creativity?" Civil Engineering (American Society of Civil Engineers). Vol. 59 (November 1989), pp. 68–69.

This short article stresses the importance of ethical behavior as a creative process for engineering creativity. Moorman argues that engineers must hold the public safety foremost while designing for the market.

Nesteruk, Jeffrey. "The Ethical Significance of Corporate Law." Journal of Business Ethics. Vol. 10, No. 9 (September 1991), pp. 723–727.

In this article, the focus is corporate decision-making structures, and conflicts regarding particular role obligations. Nesteruk argues that, as laws change, so do the roles in the corporate hierarchy, thereby creating problems in the legal understanding of corporate social responsibility.

Robinson, Carlton C. "Safety — An Important Responsibility." ITE Journal (Institute of Transportation Engineers). Vol. 61, No. 7 (July 1991), pp. 21–24.

This article discusses safety as a critical ingredient for transport engineers and their managers.

Schapker, Dennis R. "Tort Reform and Design Professionals." Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering. Vol. 116 (July 1990), pp. 258–265.

Discusses the battle over tort reform and how it has affected the engineering profession since 1980. It is a call for engineers to get involved in the debate.

Stone, Christopher D. Where the Law Ends: The Social Control of Corporate Behavior. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.

This book looks at corporate moral behavior; in particular, it considers how law is a reaction to misdeeds in business behavior. Stone provides a thorough, albeit negative, analysis of corporate ethics, and provides recommendations for promoting ethical behavior. Although written in 1975, the book still has value for the student interested in issues relating to social responsibility versus legal liability.

Tomlinson, Don E. "Choosing Social Responsibility Over Law: The Soldier of Fortune Classified Advertising Cases." Business and Professional Ethics. Vol. 9, Nos. 1&2 (Spring-Summer 1990), pp. 79–96.

This article discusses the ethics of the Soldier of Fortune's guns-for-hire advertisements that resulted in several murders across the United States.

Whelan, John M. Jr. "Charity and the Duty to Rescue." Social Theory and Practice. Vol. 17 (Fall 1991), pp. 441–56.

This article discusses those classes of action and inaction that can be deemed morally objectionable failures to aid. He argues that you cannot simply weigh the competing interests of the savior and victim — that what matters is whether the professional is in a position to help.

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