Errors, Failures and Risks: Therac - 25 Case Study (320 words)

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Question

Consider the Therac-25 case.
Assume the family of one of the victims is suing the hospital where the machine was used, the manufacturer of the machine (AECL) and the programmer who wrote the Therac-25 software.
In this assignment, you will debate, draw conclusions and assign levels of responsibility or liability to each of the parties being sued.

Source:
Baase, Sara. A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing Technology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2013. Print.

Solution Preview

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Discussion Thread: Therac-25
Part One
The Programmer is Responsible
The programmer is responsible for the malfunctioning Therac-25 software. First, the bug that had caused the problems was an easy bug to fix. The programmer should have used a better system to check the system after each use. By setting the variable to 0, instead of a fixed variable, the computer was set to ready even if “it was not ready.” This simple mistake gave the false impression that the machine was safe....

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