1st Edition

Safety Ethics Cases from Aviation, Healthcare and Occupational and Environmental Health

By Manoj S. Patankar, Jeffrey P. Brown Copyright 2005

    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.

    Contents: Foreword, Dr Gregory R. Beabout; Introduction to ethical decision-making, Manoj S. Patankar; Ethical challenges in aviation maintenance, Manoj S. Patankar; Aviation maintenance environment: the context for ethical decisions, Manoj S. Patankar; Ethical responsibilities of educators, regulators and professional organizations in aviation, Manoj S. Patankar; Ethical dilemmas in healthcare, Jeffrey P. Brown; Key themes in healthcare safety dilemmas, Jeffrey P. Brown; Ethical responsibilities of educators, regulators and professional organizations in healthcare, Jeffrey P. Brown; Ethical challenges in occupational and environmental health, Melinda D. Treadwell; Cases from occupational and environmental health, Melinda D. Treadwell; Ethical responsibilities of educators, regulators and professional organizations in occupational and environmental health, Melinda D. Treadwell; Afterword; Appendix: cases for classroom discussions, workshops or other interactive opportunities; Index.


    Dr Manoj S. Patankar is Chairman of the Department of Aviation Science at Saint Louis University. He teaches in the aviation safety management graduate program and he is engaged in cross-disciplinary research projects in linking aviation with other high-consequence industries. Jeffrey Brown is an educator and consultant in macro human factors. He has extensive teaching experience in aviation and in the application of system safety principles in healthcare. He is engaged in multiple research projects in healthcare systems. Dr Melinda Treadwell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Technology Design, and Safety at Keene State College, New Hampshire. She is actively engaged in toxicology research and she teaches in the Department's undergraduate programs. The three authors bring together extensive teaching, research, and field experience from a wide variety of perspectives to enrich this book with a combination of practical challenges facing modern society, yet rooted in strong foundations of theoretical principles.

    'This user-friendly book should be within easy reach of students, teachers, and professionals who have an interest in safety ethics...It presents a very exciting educational instrument about the ethics of safety in three distinct fields that share very similar ethical challenges: aviation, health care and occupational and environmental health...The writing style is clear and precise; the organization of the book helpful and perceptive for those who might integrate it into a safety curriculum. The authors recognize that in a capitalistic society, an emphasis upon safety can compromise profits, yet individual frontline professionals can and should enhance a safety culture. They demonstrate by case analysis how adopting a structured communication process in professional environments can enhance a safety culture by supporting open communication and by fostering collaborative decision-making and improved rule-making.' Professor Gerard Magill, Executive Director & Department Chair, Center for Health Care Ethics, Saint Louis University, USA