Selling Medical Ultrasound Technology in
Li nda Trevi no and Al essandro Gubbi ni
A surprising ethical dilemma arose for a young engineer during his first business trip to Asia to work with
customers of his company’s ultrasound imaging technology. On the long airplane ride, Pat was dutifully
reading a travel book to learn more about Korean and Chinese cultures when he was shocked to learn
how ultrasound technologies were being used in these countries. A technology that he had always
considered to be a way to help people by diagnosing disease was being commonly used to intentionally
identify and interrupt pregnancies when the fetus was female. As an engineer, Pat had been trained to
be passionate about innovation and problem solving. He was used to thinking about these technologies
as innovative high-tech solutions to serious health problems. He was also committed to developing
higher-quality, more efficient, affordable devices so that they could be used more widely. It had never
occurred to him that in some Asian cultures, where overpopulation combined with a strong patriarchal
culture led to a preference for sons over daughters, this technology that he considered to be innovative,
helpful, and supportive of people’s well-being might be used to eliminate female lives…………………………
Consider Pat’s concerns as described in this case and prepare a memorandum that addresses the
concerns described below. Your memo should be completed in narrative form (you may use headings if
you choose to do so for organizational purposes, but do not list your responses in bullet form). Maximum
page length: 10 pages (double spaced).
Identify all of the potential ethical issues you see (if any). Describe and analyze the implications of each
issue, including who or what may be affected by the company’s response. In identifying issues and
addressing their implications, your discussion should be as comprehensive as possible—you should
consider any economic, social, or ecological implications, as well as the potential impact at least two
cultural differences you can identify.
Additionally, your analysis should thoroughly identify and discuss at least two potential courses of
action that the company could take with respect to eachissue you have discussed. Clearly demonstrate
your reasoning process—identify and explain any ethical principles or arguments you are relying on; do
not simply state unsupported conclusions.
If you choose to apply any approaches to ethical reasoning that you learned about in this course, clearly
state what they are and how you are applying them to this case. Of the possible solutions you
identified, which would you recommend that the company adopt as a resolution? Again, fully explain
and justify your recommendations. Finally, explain how you would implement each solution you have
This is a take-home assignment. You are to answer the questions in the way(s) that you believe are the most thorough, most descriptive, and most analytical.
You are to compose a short paper that addresses all questions asked at the end of the case. As we are also evaluating your writing, your answers must be in an essay format, rather than using outlines or bullet points. You are to submit your answers in narrative form. Keep in mind that communication has multiple dimensions to it. Communicating substantive information is only one dimension. How well you communicate it and the grasp of the English language that you display in your communications will all have a bearing on how the individual grading your submission will evaluate it.
This assignment will make up a percent of your grade to be determined by your faculty member.
By submitting my responses to this Assignment, I hereby certify and affirm that I have not received any aid of any type from any of my classmates or students taking this course in other sections.
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