Research in Engineering and Aviation

Safety ethics: cases from aviation, medicine, and environmental and occupational health

April 2005

Author(s):  Patankar, M., Brown, J.P., & Treadwell, M. 


Much of the previous literature in the field of safety focuses on either the technical equipment issues or the human performance factors that contribute to the active failures in safety-critical systems. However, this book provides guidance in the moral or ethical aspects of decision-making that perpetuate many of the latent failures in safety-critical systems. The book presents an interdisciplinary discussion of ethical decision-making and discusses the need to teach ethical decision-making in professional academic programs. It provides a concise introduction to the ethical foundations and follows up with case studies from aviation, healthcare, and environmental and occupational health. These cases illustrate the challenges faced by the individuals in their respective field and the reasons for the choices that they made in the face of adversities. Safety Ethics gives a fascinating insight into ethical decision-making for all those interested or involved in safety-critical environments. The book will be an extremely valuable guide for professionals in making decisions consistent with their beliefs and code of ethics.