DBCP Case Study
1. In your judgment, did Dow and Shell before 1977 do all they should have done for workers involved in the manufacture of DBCP? Explain your answer in terms of the ethical principles that you believe are involved.
Quite frankly, Dow and Shell failed to take all the precautionary measure to protect the welfare of the workers. First, it is fundamental to understand the fact that these two companies were more concerned with the marketing of their products and the return on investment. Therefore, the concern for the welfare of the workers was not their primary priority. Besides, these were the only two companies that had the right to produce the DBCP insecticide; hence their objective was the maximization of profits before competition set in.
From the case study, it is evident that Dow and Shell failed to uphold the ethical principle of disclosure and protection of human life. For example, after conducting the toxicology tests from 1952-1954, the results indicated clearly that DBCP has highly toxic in the form of skin irritations through the inhalation of fumes. However, since the company was more concerned with the returns on investment, they assumed that the effects of the toxic chemicals could be neutralized through careful handling of the pesticide and ensuring that the working environment was well ventilated.
Further still, Dow failed the observe the principle of confidentiality by not communicating the results of the tests to t…
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