THERAC-25 CASE STUDY ETHICS

Projects like these should always be approached cautiously and with the end user in mind instead of the programmer. However the choice of language by itself is not listed as a primary cause in the report. Fast-neutron Neutron capture therapy of cancer Targeted alpha-particle Proton-beam Tomotherapy Brachytherapy Radiation therapy Radiosurgery Radiopharmacology. Sarin The Therac, a computerized radiation therapy machine, massively overdosed patients at least six times between June and January To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: It declared that the system was several orders of magnitude safer, but accidents did not cease.

The Therac, a predecessor of the Therac, employed independent protective circuits and mechanical interlocks to protect against overdose. Find More Resource Type. Home Resources Therac Investigation. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Justification never appears for these numbers, but, more surprisingly, the company accepted this low risk assessment easily. For more information on cookies please see http:

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: The Computing Cases website also has other materials for the teaching of computer science ethics.

OEC – An Investigation of the Therac Accidents (Abstract)

No emphasis or explanation was made on the urgency and importance of these changes. It declared that the system was several orders of magnitude safer, but accidents did not cease. The software was written in assembly language that might require more attention for testing and good design.

In response to incidents like tyerac-25 associated with Therac, the IEC standard was created, which introduces development life cycle standards for medical device software and specific guidance on using software of unknown pedigree.

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Contributor s Philip D. Yes, I agree This site uses cookies. Stuey using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Reading 05 – Therac-25 Case Study

The code was largely based upon code for the Therac-6 andwhich were older models. In this essay, Dr. A commission concluded that the primary reason should be attributed to the bad software design and development practices, and not explicitly to several coding errors that were found. The Therac, a predecessor of the Therac, employed independent protective circuits and mechanical interlocks to protect against overdose.

This bibliography includes examples of different ways instructors have used case studies to introduce ethical topics to their students and resources for finding cases and incorporating them into the classroom. Each overdose was several times the normal therapeutic dose and resulted in the patient’s severe injury or even death.

Justification never appears for these numbers, but, more surprisingly, the company accepted this low risk assessment easily. Hospital staff and those who maintained the machines easily and frequently decided to override the error messages and proceed with a potentially dangerous operation.

therac-25 case study ethics

Reusing software modules does not guarantee safety in the new system to which they are transferred Leveson notes that a lesson to be drawn from the incident is to not assume that reused software is safe: This site uses cookies.

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They additionally xase not revise some glaringly inadequate safety measures e.

Moral Agents and Moral Problems. The high-current electron beam struck the patients with approximately times the intended dose of radiation, and over a narrower area, delivering a theeac-25 lethal dose of beta radiation.

Philip Sarin More Posts. A Gift of Fire. Previous models had hardware interlocks to prevent such faults, but the Therac had removed them, depending instead on software checks for safety.

THERAC 25 Ethics Case Study by Ken Enstrom on Prezi

However the choice of language by itself is not listed as a primary cause in the report. You are commenting using your WordPress. Notify me of new comments via email. Retrieved 14 June Additionally the overconfidence of the engineers [1]: Find More Resource Type.

therac-25 case study ethics

Software bugs Health disasters Nuclear medicine Health disasters in Canada Engineering failures Radiation accidents and incidents. Companies must understand that for safety-critical software design rigorous testing and failure analyses are essential and that trained software engineers, not simply any reasonably experienced engineers, should implement the software design.

The machine also used its own operating system. For more information on cookies please see http: Displaying 1 – 2 of 2.