June 19, 2013
Other Ethics Resources
Ethical Rights & Responsibilities of Practicing Engineers
BY WALTER L. ELDEN, P.E., NIEE BOARD OF GOVERNORS, IEEE LIFE SENIOR MEMBER, MEMBER CONDUCT COMMITTEE
What rights do or should engineer employees have?
Readers are invited to submit their views FOR or AGAINST the proposition that: A person, by virtue of practicing as an engineer and exercising the duties and responsibilities which go with such a professional position in employment, has certain rights, which should correspond with ethical responsibilities, when engaged in an engineer employee capacity.
Background on Individual Rights in the United States
Out of this climate came the Declaration of Independence, a blueprint for self-government by the new United States, with a strong executive branch, a representative legislature and a federal judiciary. But its flaw was that it lacked a specific declaration about individual rights, including the prohibition against slavery, which the country corrected much later at great human costs. The new Constitution specified what the government could do, but did not say what it could not do. Four years later, the United States adopted the American Bill of Rights which Jefferson inspired and James Monroe drafted. In 1791, the Bill of Rights, containing the first 10 amendments, became the law of the land.
The Bill of Rights was necessary to protect individuals from the perceived abuses that could result from the new government. This view was based upon the experience the British Americans had experienced under the rule of the British. As such, the founders of the nation=s AEs believed that containing the new government AEs power and protecting liberty was their most important task.
They declared a new purpose for government: the protection of individual rights.
What are Rights, Anyway?
Ethical Rights and Responsibilities of an Engineer
Members can provide their views, pro or con, on this subject. We created this mail list to foster discussion and contributions aimed at creating a document titled AA Declaration of an Engineer's Rights and Responsibilities@ with the IEEE Code of Ethics as a basis, among other considerations, such as protecting the public, consulting, employment and other factors. Supporting the mail list is a companion Ethics Rights and Responsibilities page. To view the messages posted already, view the archives at: www5.palmnet.net/~welden/maillist/rights/righ_msg.html
Comments may be submitted to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(For members only)