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  • Welcome | ethics.iit.edu
    Ethics Bibliographies Perspectives on the Professions Online Order Publications Pricing and Delivery Options Thinking Like an Engineer Autonomy Ethics Education Library NanoEthicsBank Selection Indexing Subject Terms Further Resources for NanoEthicsBank Courses Ethics Across the Curriculum EAC Workshop Summary Language of Professional Ethics Case Study Method Framework for Moral Reasoning Ethical Theories Utilitarianism Deontological Other Ethical Theories Professional Ethics Identifying Issues in What You Teach Catalyst B II III Leading Case Discussions Integration of Ethics Objectives for Teaching Ethics Ethics of Teaching Ethics Assessment Post Workshop Materials EAC Events EAC Bibliography Online Resources Ethics Bowl High School Ethics Bowls Boeing Scholars Academy Ethics Bowl Ethics Bowl Overview Case Archive EB Resources IIT Ethics Bowl Team Ethics In IPROs Ethics in the Natural Course of Research 2011 Syllabus IIT Code of Ethics Past Projects Software Engineering Archive 1992 Versions of the Code 2002 1993 Code Making Interviews with Participants 2005 1994 SEA Bibliography About the Project 1999 Acronyms Guide Guide to Requesting Access 2000 1991 Index by Date 2001 About the CSEP Library Directions Services Hours Other IIT Libraries Donate to the Library Further Resources Code of Ethics Collections NanoEthicsBank Perspectives Online Ethics Education Library Print Collections CSEP Archive Guide Journals Books

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  • Research | ethics.iit.edu
    National Academy of Engineering s Center for Engineer Ethics and Society is a collection of resources for scholars and university administrators interested in developing ethics training and instruction programs for undergraduate graduate and doctoral students NanoEthicsBank The NanoEthicsBank is a database conceived as a resource for researchers scholars students and the general public who are interested in the social and ethical implications of nanotechnology Items in the database include normative documents such as guidelines for safety in the workplace and descriptive materials such as analysis of the U S government s capacity for oversight and studies of the media coverage of nanotechnology Software Engineering Archive In 1993 the IEEE Computer Society IEEE CS and the Association of Computing Machinery ACM formed a joint committee to write a code of ethics for software engineers This archive includes meeting minutes correspondence and the different versions of the code developed throughout the project The Software Engineer s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice was adopted by IEEE CS and ACM in 1998 and since then the code has been adopted by software engineering and computer societies worldwide For more resources please visit the Ethics Center Library CSEP News Subscribe to RSS headline updates from a href http feeds2 feedburner com CsepLibrary CSEP Library IIT EDU Home IIT Humanities Department Galvin Library Home Search Research Codes of Ethics Collections Using a Code of Ethics Authoring a Code of Ethics Other Codes of Ethics Collections Bibliography Introduction Index Of Codes CSEP Publications Perspectives on the Professions Online Order Publications Pricing and Delivery Options Thinking Like an Engineer Autonomy Code Making Modules in Applied Ethics Bibliographies Ethics Education Library NanoEthicsBank Subject Terms Further Resources for NanoEthicsBank Selection Indexing Teaching Courses Ethics Across the Curriculum EAC Workshop Summary Language of Professional Ethics Case Study Method Framework

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  • Codes of Ethics Collections | ethics.iit.edu
    of Ethics Online Collection Index of Codes Codes of ethics organized by professional category Compilation of Codes This includes codes available through our online collection and our archive of paper codes of ethics Copies of these codes can be made for a nominal fee Using Codes of Ethics This guide offers a context for using a code of ethics by considering a sample case Authoring a Code Observations on process and organization This paper was written by Andrew Olson who worked on the project just after completing his undergraduate degree Bibliography Online and print materials on writing a code of ethics the authority and purpose of a code of ethics and further materials many of which offer case studies that can help you use your profession s code Other Online Sources of Codes of Ethics Having difficulty finding an organization s code of ethics Try our links to other collections of codes of ethics which are available online CSEP News Subscribe to RSS headline updates from a href http feeds2 feedburner com CsepLibrary CSEP Library IIT EDU Home IIT Humanities Department Galvin Library Home Search Research Codes of Ethics Collections Bibliography Introduction Index Of Codes Using a Code of Ethics Authoring a Code of Ethics Other Codes of Ethics Collections CSEP Publications Code Making Modules in Applied Ethics Bibliographies Perspectives on the Professions Online Order Publications Pricing and Delivery Options Thinking Like an Engineer Autonomy Ethics Education Library NanoEthicsBank Selection Indexing Subject Terms Further Resources for NanoEthicsBank Teaching Courses Ethics Across the Curriculum EAC Workshop Summary Language of Professional Ethics Case Study Method Framework for Moral Reasoning Ethical Theories Utilitarianism Deontological Other Ethical Theories Professional Ethics Identifying Issues in What You Teach Catalyst B II III Leading Case Discussions Integration of Ethics Objectives for Teaching Ethics Ethics of Teaching Ethics

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  • Bibliography | ethics.iit.edu
    1988 389 295 Williams Oliver F ed Global Codes of Conduct An Idea Whose Time Has Come Notre Dame IN Notre Dame University Press 2000 Winkler Ingo The Representation of Social Actors in Corporate Codes of Ethics How Language Positions Internal Actors Journal of Business Ethics 101 4 2011 653 665 2011 Writing a Code of Ethics Online Resources CSEP s newsletter Perspectives featured a Fall 1999 issue on Writing a Code of Ethics The Ethics Resource Center has a toolkit available for use When used for commercial purposes a nominal license fee is required Creating A Code Of Ethics for Your Organization with many suggested books by Chris MacDonald Developing a Code of Conduct for a Corporate Board of Directors A Roadmap by Frank Narvan Interpreting Your Code article by Cornelius von Baeyer outlining principles and approaches for using a code of ethics within an organization with the Canadian Council for International Co operation as a case study Recommendations for Developing Codes of Conduct sites from Virginia Tech Globalizing a Code of Ethics by Cheryl Raven 2004 from the Ethics Resource Center Guidelines for Developing Non profit Codes and Implementing an Organizational Code of Ethics by William Miller International Business Ethics Review Volume 7 Issue 1 Available thorough the the International Business Ethics Institute Institute of Business Ethics based in the United Kingdom has a codes of conduct page with a number of resources for developing a code of ethics for large and small businesses International Business Ethics Review newsletter of the International Business Ethics Institute has published a Winter 2004 issue Vol 7 1 with a special focus on Organizational Codes of Ethics with suggestions on creating an effective electronic code of conduct as well as guidelines for non profits among other useful articles Also see Writing an Effective Global Code of Conduct by Lori Tansey Martens in Vol 8 Issue 1 of The International Business Ethics Review The Journal of Mass Media Ethics offered a 2002 special issue on Codes of Ethics link offers table of contents with abstracts only Can You Improve your Code of Ethics American Society of Newspaper Editors October 25 2000 Twenty Questions to Ask about Your Code of Conduct Joe Murphy and Win Swenson Ethikos and Corporate Conduct Quarterly July August 2003 Print Bibliography on Writing a Code of Ethics Baker Robert A Draft Model Aggregated Code of Ethics for Bioethicists American Journal of Bioethics 5 5 September October 2005 33 41 Creating a Workable Company Code of Ethics Washington D C Ethics Resource Center 1990 Second edition 2003 Davis Michael Eighteen Rules for Writing a Code of Ethics Science and Engineering Ethics Vol 13 No 2 June 2007 pp171 189 Twenty ways to put life into a code of ethics Michigan Professional Engineer February 1995 Fairweather N Ben No PAPA Why Incomplete Codes of Ethics are Worse than None at All in Ethics in the Age of Information Technology G Collste ed Linkoeping Sweden Center for Applied Ethics Linkoeping Universitet 2000 Frankel M S Developing Ethical Standards for Responsible Research Why Form Function Process Outcomes Journal of Dental Research Vol 75 No 2 1996 pp 832 835 Professional Codes Why How and with What Impact Journal of Business Ethics 8 1989 109 115 Developing a Code of Ethics for Academics Commentary on Ethics for All Differences Across Scientific Society Codes Bullock and Panicker Science and Engineering Ethics 9 2 pp 171 179 2003 Gaumnitz Bruce R and John C Lere Contents of Codes of Ethics of Professional Business Organizations in the United States Journal of Business Ethics 35 1 January 2002 35 49 Link to abstract Gauthier Janel Jean Pettifor and Andrewa Ferrero the Universial Declaration of Ethical Principles for a Pscyhologist A Culture Sensitive Model for Creating and Reviewing a Code of Ethics Ethics and Behavior 20 3 4 2010 179 196 Goodpaster G E Maines T D Weimesrskirch A M A Baldrige Process for Ethics Science and Engineering Ethics 10 243 258 2004 Gray Sandra Trice CAE Codify Your Ethics Association Management Pg 288 August 1996 Griggs Francis E New Look at the Code of Ethics Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education Practice 135 1 January 2009 40 46 Article discusses the history of the American Society for Civil Engineers Code of Ethics and its change in emphasis to the obligation of the engineer promote the health safety and welfare of the public The author analyzes the most recent versions of this code and finds it to be a mix of a code of professional practice and a code of ethics and suggests a new way of organizing the code to correct this issue Joyce Nicholas R and Thomas J Rankin The Lessons of the Development of the First APA Ethics Code Blending Science Practice and Politics Ethics and Behavior 20 6 2010 466 481 Discusses the development of the first code of ethics for the American Psychological Assocaiton Kaptein Muel Business Codes of Multinational Firms What Do They Say Journal of Business Ethics 50 1 March 2004 13 31 Link to abstract Kaptein Muel and Johan Wempe Twelve Gordian Knots When Developing an Organizational Code of Ethics Journal of Business Ethics 17 8 June 1998 853 69 Link to abstract Kunungi and Martha Schweitz Codes of Conduct for Partnership in Governance Texts and Commentaries Edited by Tatsuro Tokyo Japan The United Nations University 1999 Lozano J Felix Developing an Ethical Code for Engineers The Discursive Approach Science and Engineering Ethics 12 2 January 2006 245 256 Messkomer Carla Masciocchi and Carol Cabrey Cirka Constructing a Code of Ethics An Experimental Case of a National Professional Organization Journal of Business Ethics 95 1 2010 55 71 Molander E A A Paradigm for Design Promulgation and Enforcement of Ethical Codes Journal of Business Ethics 6 November 1987 619 626 Murphy Joe and Win Swenson Twenty Questions to Ask about Your Code of Conduct Ethikos and Corporate Conduct Quarterly July August 2003 Weaver G R Does Ethics Code Design Matter

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  • Introduction | ethics.iit.edu
    ethics sometimes seem internally inconsistent can be addressed by understanding codes of ethics not as recipes for decision making but as expressions of ethical considerations to bear in mind We should view them as an ethical framework rather than as specific solutions to problems Finally the authors argue that moral autonomy is not really compromised by codes of ethics If a code s provision can be supported with good reasons why should a profession not include an affirmation of those provisions as part of what it professes this does not preclude individual members from autonomously accepting those provisions and jointly committing themselves to their support p 34 Michael Davis makes a strong positive case for professional codes of ethics Davis argues that codes of ethics should be understood as conventions between professionals Davis writes The code is to protect each professional from certain pressures for example the pressure to cut corners to save money by making it reasonably likely that most other members of the profession will not take advantage of her good conduct A code protects members of a profession from certain consequences of competition A code is a solution to a coordination problem p 154 Davis goes on to suggest that having a code of ethics allows an engineer to object to pressure to produce substandard work not merely as an ordinary moral agent but as a professional Engineers or doctors or clergy etc can say As a professional I cannot ethically put business concerns ahead of professional ethics Davis give four reasons why professionals should support their profession s code First supporting it will help protect them and those they care about from being injured by what other engineers do Second supporting the code will also help assure each engineer a working environment in which it will be easier than it would otherwise be to resist pressure to do much that the engineers would rather not do Third engineers should support their profession s code because supporting it helps make their profession a practice of which they need not feel embarrassment shame or guilt And fourth one has an obligation of fairness to do his part in generating these benefits for all engineers p 166 Harris et al summarize Stephen Unger s analysis of the possible functions of a code of ethics First it can serve as a collective recognition by members of a profession of its responsibilities Second it can help create an environment in which ethical behavior is the norm Third it can serve as a guide or reminder in specific situations Fourth the process of developing and modifying a code of ethics can be valuable for a profession Fifth a code can serve as an educational tool providing a focal point for discussion in classes and professional meetings Finally a code can indicate to others that the profession is seriously concerned with responsible professional conduct p 35 For all these reasons IIT s CSEP decided to dedicate a part of its collective resources to

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  • Index Of Codes | ethics.iit.edu
    Ethics Collections Using a Code of Ethics Authoring a Code of Ethics Other Codes of Ethics Collections Bibliography Introduction Index Of Codes CSEP Publications Perspectives on the Professions Online Order Publications Pricing and Delivery Options Thinking Like an Engineer Autonomy Code Making Modules in Applied Ethics Bibliographies Ethics Education Library NanoEthicsBank Subject Terms Further Resources for NanoEthicsBank Selection Indexing Teaching Courses Ethics Across the Curriculum EAC Workshop Summary Language of Professional Ethics Case Study Method Framework for Moral Reasoning Ethical Theories Utilitarianism Deontological Other Ethical Theories Professional Ethics Identifying Issues in What You Teach Catalyst B II III Leading Case Discussions Integration of Ethics Objectives for Teaching Ethics Ethics of Teaching Ethics Assessment Post Workshop Materials EAC Events EAC Bibliography Online Resources Ethics Bowl Case Archive EB Resources IIT Ethics Bowl Team High School Ethics Bowls Boeing Scholars Academy Ethics Bowl Ethics Bowl Overview Ethics In IPROs Projects Ethics in the Natural Course of Research 2011 Syllabus IIT Code of Ethics Past Projects Software Engineering Archive SEA Bibliography About the Project 1999 Acronyms Guide Guide to Requesting Access 2000 1991 Index by Date 2001 1992 Versions of the Code 2002 1993 Code Making Interviews with Participants 2005 1994 Library About

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  • Using a Code of Ethics | ethics.iit.edu
    material by adolescents You may think that pornography is generally degrading to women and that harmful attitudes towards women are being perpetuated into the next generation You may have religious objections to representations of extra marital sexual behavior You may believe that it is unethical to spend the library s publicly funded financial resources on materials which violate the community s standards But you wonder what your ethical responsibility is as a librarian The American Library Association has a code of ethics One of the principles in the code which looks relevant is We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library materials This guideline points pretty clearly toward removing any filtering software from the Internet terminals and toward allowing all patrons regardless of their youth to use the unfiltered Internet This conclusion is not certain of course one could argue that libraries have always been selective about the materials they allow into their libraries and that using professional judgement in the selection of materials is not censorship Still it is probably true that the ALA code of ethics points lends more support to allowing open access to unfiltered terminals than to the opposing view As a professional then you are faced with several decisions Does my code of ethics really guide me towards supporting open access to unfiltered terminals Am I morally required to uphold a principle of professional ethics which I may find repugnant when I am reasoning as an individual Do I sacrifice my professionalism if I reject one or more of the guidelines in my professional organization s code of ethics Is there a middle way Can I persuade my professional organization to rethink its code of ethics and adopt language that I can endorse These kinds of questions can form the basis of a discussion amongst professional peers who are creating a code of ethics They can also be used in the classroom to generate discussion or to form the basis of an essay question In general the kinds of questions to ask when reviewing the codes in relation to the cases include Does my professional code of ethics give clear advice on this type of case Could someone endorsing the opposite course of action also use the code to support her choice Do the different guidelines within the code give conflicting guidance on this type of case or do all guidelines point to the same outcome Does my professional code of ethics conflict with my own individual moral compass Is there a way I can find a conscientious compromise Does a particular guideline within a professional code give acceptable guidance in one case but unacceptable guidance in another If my professional code gives very specific guidance what general moral principles underlie the specific advice Have the framers of my professional code taken all the reasonable and likely types of cases into account before constructing the code Answering these questions requires reference both to the codes and to examples of

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  • Authoring a Code of Ethics | ethics.iit.edu
    index categories that contain a significant number of codes has resulted in observations of trends within the index categories codes See Table 1 below A survey of the business organizations codes reveals that most business codes follow either the brief code model or the relationship model Those business professionals codes that follow the relationship model always begin with a section devoted to an obligation to professionalism followed by separate headings for relations with clients employers and real property and equipment On the other hand most engineering codes follow the brief code model or the principles model However the engineering codes that do follow the relationship model begin with relations obligations to the public followed by separate headings for relationships with employers clients and other engineers The structures of the healthcare professions codes are more evenly balanced between the three models Yet even in the codes structured in accordance with the brief model or the principles model the importance of the relationship between the healthcare worker and the patient is emphasized In addition the healthcare codes that follow the relationship model begin with relations obligations to the patient followed by separate headings for the public and the profession These trends seem to reflect an engineer s strong obligation to the public a healthcare worker s priority to the patient and a business professional s commitment to his or her profession Table 1 Index Category Brief Model Principles Model Relationship Model Total Surveyed Business 57 1 8 7 1 1 35 7 5 14 Engineering 47 8 10 38 1 8 14 3 3 21 Healthcare 51 4 19 29 7 11 18 9 7 37 Note The Online Codes of Ethics Project is an ongoing archive This survey is of the codes archived as of August 26 1998 A code of ethics is a means of uniquely expressing a group s collective commitment to a specific set of standards of conduct while offering guidance in how to best follow those codes As such authors of a code of ethics should explore methods of organizing a code and use of language in the code that will be well received by the codes intended participants For example while the statement An ye harm none do as ye will may not be an appropriate statement of nonmaleficence for use in the American Psychological Association s code of ethics it may be perfectly appropriate and effective as a part of the code of ethics for the Covenant of the Goddess an organization founded in 1975 to increase cooperation among Witches with a presumably long tradition of the use of Old English Nevertheless the code of ethics adopted by the American Psychological Association follow link does include a statement of nonmaleficence that may be more appropriate for its audience It states Psychologists take reasonable steps to avoid harming their patients or clients research participants students and others with whom they work and to minimize harm where it is foreseeable and unavoidable In addition if one s group closely identifies itself and its work with the people involved then a code of ethics that follows the relationship model above may be most appropriate However if one s group more closely identifies itself and its work with concepts and principles of the occupation then a code of ethics that follows the descending principles model may be most appropriate In either case the code should both state the principles and offer guidance in how the principles should be followed Giving guidance encourages participants in the code to develop and practice moral reasoning based on the collectively agreed upon principles of the group enumerated in the code III The Balancing Act When writing a code of ethics the code s authors must compose the code with a finely tuned attention to balance A good code is written with the awareness that the code will be used in a variety of different situations and each situation will prompt those involved to refer to the code for specific guidance This presents an interesting challenge to the code s authors who must write the code with enough information to be of use in the specifics of a situation while remaining general enough to be used for a wide variety of situations It is most likely this challenge that has prompted many authors to extend their code of ethics with sections entitled Suggested Guidelines for use with the Fundamental Canons of Ethics Standards of Practice or Rules and Procedures In such sections the authors attempt to foresee situations one might encounter that call for ethical considerations Within these sections the authors describe how one should interpret the principles of the code of ethics pertaining to one s specific situation In many instances these guidelines will attempt to provide guidance on how to resolve conflicting principles It is likely that these additional sections will add some time and effort to the writing process However much of what will be included in an additional guidelines section should surface in the initial brainstorming and writing process IV Criticism and Optimism While it is surprising and encouraging to see such a large volume of codes of ethics coming from such a wide variety of organizations much can and should be done to improve many of the codes contents The brevity of many codes seems insufficient for fulfilling the many purposes of a code of ethics While codes that are short in length and content do illustrate an organization s commitment to fundamental principles these codes may fail to give substantial guidance to the organization s members in situations which often require some sort of give and take between fundamental principles It is important for a code of ethics to include such guidance for two reasons First it is important that through the development of a code an organization make collective agreements about what conduct is ethical and what conduct is unethical As previously stated reports from organizations that have been through the code writing process suggest that making such agreements is not as easy as one might think it should be This suggests that organizations that have failed to engage in this process of achieving consensus may not be unified in their belief of what is ethical conduct If this is true then how can it be expected that members of the organization will act ethically when what the organization considers to be ethical conduct is not clearly defined Second the practice of ethics is always situation specific A code of ethics lacking in guidance fails to address this very important aspect of the practice of ethics thus the code will likely fail at accomplishing its intended purposes In spite of criticism optimism certainly has its place with respect to the continual development of codes of ethics One of the assets of an archive of ethics codes such as that which is being maintained by the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions is that it provides a view of the development of organizations codes of ethics Codes of ethics change with time due to changes in society changes in organizations and a desire to improve the effectiveness of a code In this sense a code of ethics should be thought of as a living document In order to maximize its utility a code must be adapted to the changing atmosphere of an organization and the environment in which the organization operates In fact many of the archived codes began with forms of codes very similar to those about which I have indicated concern However through a process of revision these codes have become examples of what I have previously described as well developed codes It is encouraging to see such developments taking place in many codes of ethics From this perspective the future of codes of ethics and their ultimate usefulness are left to the authors and their responsible fulfillment of the tasks of authorship The challenges and methods of overcoming the challenges are many but the rewards of increased ethical sensitivity and judgement strengthened support for individuals moral courage and an organization s honed sense of identity are a necessity to any ethically responsible organization and a much needed benefit to society Andrew Olson 1998 Observations on Process and Organization by Andrew Olson Andrew Olson graduated in May of 1998 from Augustana College Sioux Falls SD where he majored in mathematics and physics and minored in philosophy As a summer intern at the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions Andrew participated in the Center s Codes of Ethics Online project making an online archive of codes available to Internet users worldwide The following article presents an analysis of the codes of ethics included in this project as well as a guide to producing codes of ethics The highlighted text can be followed as links to references on the Internet For more information about writing codes please see our Fall 1999 issue of Perspectives on the Professions Writing a Code of Ethics and our new section of the codes site Other Resources for Writing a Code of Ethics What exactly is a code of ethics and is it really of any value The answer to the second question is easy Yes a code of ethics fulfills many purposes within an organization A code of ethics increases ethical sensitivity and judgement strengthens support for individuals moral courage and helps to hone an organization s sense of identity Unfortunately the first question proves to be a little more difficult to answer A lack of appropriate answers to the question is not the source of difficulty rather it is the abundance of appropriate answers that makes definitively answering the question a difficult undertaking As an active team member of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions CSEP Online Codes of Ethics Project I have had the unique opportunity to observe over 500 different codes of ethics from a great variety of professions institutes associations societies and other organizations It is through this experience that I have found the variety of codes of ethics to be almost as great as the variety of groups that have written codes In the following paragraphs I will attempt to describe what a code of ethics entails and consequently how one might begin writing or revising a code of ethics I Why such variety Upon reflection it is not surprising that one will observe so much variety in codes of ethics Codes of ethics are written by specific groups of people for specific groups of people each group having its own purpose for existence and its own means of accomplishing its purpose Consequently each group encounters a unique set of ethical challenges If while observing hundreds of codes of ethics I found that codes of ethics were very similar then the usefulness of codes of ethics specific to a group would be in jeopardy What would be the use of writing hundreds of codes of ethics when one or two codes would suffice for all groups Fortunately for proponents of code writing my observation is that one or two codes do not suffice for all groups The reason I hypothesize lies at the very heart of the purpose of codes of ethics Codes of ethics are to be reflections of the morally permissible standards of conduct which members of a group make binding upon themselves These standards of conduct often reach beyond or delve deeper into societal morality in order to give guidance to people within a group on issues that are specific to the group Often codes of ethics prioritize commonly conflicting principles which underlie the standards of conduct within an organization either by explicitly weighting the principles or implicitly ordering the principles in order to give guidance on how one is to act as a morally responsible agent of the group when situations require an element of compromise between principles For example as a profession engineers have agreed that a commitment to public safety is essential when acting as a professional engineer This agreement is reflected in professional engineering codes such as the Code of Ethics for Engineers adopted by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology ABET Likewise codes of the healthcare professions tend to attribute a similar priority to a commitment to upholding the dignity of respect for and responsibility to the individual patient client Both the engineering professions and healthcare professions are deeply concerned with the health and welfare of individuals and the public yet the differences in the focus of their codes of ethics reflect the differences in the challenges that engineers and healthcare workers face while attempting to address this concern Because different groups are composed of different people with different purposes having differing means of accomplishing differing ends priorities specific to one group may be incongruous with those of another group For instance continuing the above example engineering professions tend to place greater importance on engineers responsibility to society while healthcare professions tend to place greater importance on the responsibility to the individuals within the society Through an informal survey of engineering and healthcare codes of ethics published on CSEP s Online Codes of Ethics Project one can see that all engineering codes organized according to the relationship model described in the following paragraphs begin with relations obligations to the public while all healthcare codes following the same model begin with relations obligations to the patient The reason for this difference in priorities is not that engineers lack concern for individuals or that healthcare professionals do not care about society The difference occurs because the tasks of engineers often directly involve the improvement of conditions of society or at least groups within society in contrast the tasks of healthcare professionals directly involve the improvement of the condition of individuals Therein lies the reason for writing codes of ethics specific to a group of people The type of activities engaged in by members of the group determines the situations in which the practice of ethical conduct may be jeopardized II Process and Organization This idea of moral responsibilities specific to a group is also central to the process of writing a code of ethics A helpful way to start any project of significant size is with a statement of purpose With this in mind begin writing a code of ethics by asking yourself and members of your organization Why does my our organization want to develop a code of ethics Generally speaking it seems that codes of ethics with a clearly defined purpose are more clearly stated and better organized Many codes make effective use of defining a purpose by beginning the document with a preamble or a statement of intent The preamble sets the tone of the document and outlines both the purpose of the organization and the purpose of the code The statement of intent fulfills a similar purpose but it focuses more on the purpose of the code and less on the purpose of the organization than does a preamble Both are good ways to set the tone of the code and to establish a feel of cohesion within the group that is essential to the proper functioning of a code To assure that a code of ethics functions properly the group or a representative body of the group must formulate it Michael Davis CSEP Senior Research Fellow states in Ethics Across the Curriculum Ethics consists of those morally permissible standards of conduct each member of a group wants every other member to follow even if their following them would mean he or she had to follow them too If we accept this as a plausible definition of ethics as I think we should then it is reasonable to assert that writing a properly functioning code of ethics is a collective task Without a reasonable amount of group consensus concerning morally permissible standards of conduct relevant to the group the code finds its home scribbled on a sheet of paper rather than in the actions and decisions of members of the group To defeat the argument that codes of ethics are merely well meaning statements on a rarely seen and even less frequently and effectively implemented document a code of ethics must truly reflect the virtues of the group It is reported that many groups find it difficult to agree on the pertinent and essential virtues of the group to be included in the code Compromise seems to be the norm For example in Moral Blueprints Samuel Florman recounts the development of the American Society of Civil Engineers code of ethics He states The original code had enjoined the engineer to show due regard for the public In revision proper regard was proposed and rejected as a weak compromise only paramount would do Through a process of achieving consensus writing a code of ethics becomes an excellent group defining task Consequently a well defined membership in the group an outcome of devising and publicizing a code aids in the functioning of the code Through identification as a member of the group a member s sense of duty to other members of the group and to the group s collective agreements expressed in the code is strengthened As a result the effectiveness of the code of ethics is also strengthened Although the following list is certainly not exhaustive here are some questions one might consider when deciding what should be included in the code Who are the persons or groups of persons affected by your organization or the members of your organization and how are they prioritized What are your organization s main areas of action What unethical decisions and actions would your organization like to prevent and how could they be prevented What type of ethical problems are members of your organization most likely to encounter How can conflicting principles be resolved After your organization has answered these questions and formulated what needs to be included in the organization s code of ethics the next step is

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