Role of law in engineering

It  is  wrong  to  write  off  rule-making  and  rule  following  as  futile.  Good  laws, effectively enforced, clearly produce benefits.

Reasonable minimum standards are ensured of professional conduct.

It also provides a self-interested motive for most people and corporations to comply.

They also serve as  powerful support and defense for those who wish to act ethically in situations where ethical conduct might not be welcome.

Viewing  engineering  as  social  experimentation  provides  engineers  with  a  better perspective on laws and regulations.

Precise rules and enforceable sanctions are appropriate in cases of ethical misconduct that  involve violations of well established and regularly reexamined procedures that have as their purpose the safety of public.

In areas of experimentation, rules must not attempt to cover all possible outcomes of an experiment, nor must they force the engineer to adopt a rigidly specified course of action.  Here the regulations  should be broad based guidelines  but should hold the engineer accountable for his or her decisions.

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