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Examination Of Four Different Ethics Cases

1053 words - 4 pages

Case 1.1: Made in the USA – Dumped in Brazil, Africa, Iraq…
Fire-retardant children’s pajamas found to contain Tris, a flame-retardant chemical found to cause kidney cancer in children. Millions of pairs of the pajamas expected to be sold now had to be disposed of. Exporting companies began purchasing the pajamas at a wholesale price with the intention of dumping the banned product on overseas markets.
Dalkon Shield was a birth control device found to have adverse reactions including pelvic inflammation, blood poisoning, tubal pregnancies, and uterine perforations. The Office of Population within the US Agency for International Development purchased the product and dumped it on foreign markets for the intent of population control. They claimed that Third World countries would prefer any method of birth control over none, as the rate of infant mortality is high.
Arguments: foreign countries should be free to decide for themselves whether the benefits of these products are worth their risks.
U.S. regulates in that they must keep foreign countries fully informed on what products have been banned.
Argument: most Third World countries lack regulatory agencies that are concerned about their people’s safety.
Argument: Not all agencies inform the State Department of banned or harmful products, which means that when the products are dumped into foreign markets, these countries will not know the harm.
Issue: even if certain products were not allowed to be exporting, it is very easy to illegally export and sneak around the rules.
In the case of pesticides banned in the US – they have been dumped onto foreign markets, but these chemicals bled into the water, and we have no way of stopping it from spreading in the water and not coming to our shores (harmful chemicals from banned pesticides have already been found in our flood waters) or from being found in our imported foods.
Case 2.2: The Ford Pinto
1968 – Ford produced the Pinto to compete with foreign (mostly Japanese) auto markets. Condensed processes for quicker production, to have it on the market sooner (any changes needed to be made would have to be made during production instead of during drafting).
During crash tests, all models Ford tested had failed due to ruptured gas tanks/dangerous leaks. The models were modified (but not safely). Ford knew the Pinto would be a serious fire hazard and pushed ahead with production anyway, not wanting to take the time or waste the money to fix the problem (cost-benefit reasoning placed a dollar amount on an individual human life and NHTSA ‘proved’ that in monetary terms the benefits outweighed the costs).
Studies show that between 1971 and 1978, 95% of the nearly 500 fire-related fatalities by Pinto drivers could have been avoided if Ford had fixed the fuel tank problem. Ford was eventually forced to recall earlier Pinto models when the collision standard increased in ’76. Ford faced many lawsuits and was even brought to court on criminal charges...

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