ITECH7400 IT Service Management And Professional Culture

Question in ITECH7400 IT Service Management And Professional Culture

The purpose of the critique is to help students develop a knowledge of ethics.

Case Study

Robotic surgery sounds like the ultimate in safe, efficient and effective 21st-century health care. Instead of a surgeon’s potentially fallible human hand, you have a robot with its precision-built mechanical arms able to perform micro-accurate procedures on tissues deep within the body.

With robot-assisted surgery, the surgeon sits at a nearby console with a 3D view of the surgical site. Computer technology translates their hand movements into precise manoeuvres of the instruments. If the surgeon’s hand develops a tremor, the computer system knows to ignore it. 

The technology also means surgeons can use finer instruments that cause less damage to the body. In turn, this should reduce blood loss and the need for blood transfusions – and mean that patients recover more quickly. With this kind of promise, little wonder that multi-million-pound robot machines are performing ever more operations across Britain.

The technology, which was first used in 2000, is employed increasingly in intricate surgery such as hysterectomy, gallbladder removal and repair of damaged heart valves.

But while for many patients robot surgery will have been entirely smooth, the technology is not risk-free. And leading experts are now voicing growing fears about its safety and effectiveness, warning of a growing human toll.

Good Health has learned of one particularly alarming case in which a man suffered grievous injuries from a robotic procedure that nearly killed him when it went wrong.

The patient, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was suffering from prostate cancer and recently had his prostate gland removed by keyhole surgery using robot technology. His solicitors say the remote camera attached to the robot arm damaged the man’s bowel, leading to severe infection, organ failure and cardiac arrest (Nash, 2013).

Ethical dilemma:

To what extend are IT professionals responsible for the surgery accuracy of robots they program?


This is an individual task. Students are required to write two (2) forum posts in moodle which provide an analysis of an ethical dilemma associated with robotic assisted surgery from a software developer’s perspective.

  • Post 1: In post one (1) students should provide an answer to the ethical dilemma through the lens of each of the ethical theories presented in lectures. These include utilitarianism, deontology, social contract theory, character-based ethics1. The post should be approximately two to three pages long . It should contain a brief overview of each of the four ethical theories, and a discussion and proposed solution for the dilemma, from each of the four ethical theoretical viewpoints. The discussion should show an analysis and synthesis of research undertaken and your own ideas.
  • Post 2: In post two (2) students will apply ACS code of ethics2 in order to solve the ethical dilemma. The post should be approximately one page long . The discussion should show an analysis and synthesis of research undertaken and your own ideas.
  • ITECH7400 IT Service Management And Professional Culture