“When Radiation Therapy Kills”
(Ethical and Societal Issues in Information System)
Background of the case: When the new radiation therapies are raised, they’ve promised to cure people from illness. Contemporary radiation therapy offers a good example of society failing to anticipate and control the negative impacts of a technology powerful enough to kill people. Advanced technologies in radiation treatment represent hope and a chance to live and survive individuals who suffered from illness or disease like cancer. But when these machines went wrong, including the failure of the medical technicians and doctors, the patient, who experienced pain, suffering worse than the ailments radiation aims to cure. In the case of Scott-Jerome Parks and Alexandra Jn-Charles, both patient from New York City hospitals, suffered and end up into deaths due to taking insufficient care of technicians, poor use of software and lack of quality in state regulations. Mr. Jerome-Parks was treated for tongue cancer by using a newer linear accelerator which was the multi-leaf collimator at St. Vincent Hospital. After receiving erroneous dosages of radiation several times, his condition drastically worsened. Regarding this case, Dr. Fred A. Mettler, Jr., a radiation expert who has investigated radiation accidents worldwide, gives a note related to radiation therapy and it bears repeating that the vast majority of the time, radiation works, and saves some people from terminal cancer. Technicians, hospital doctors, manufacturers and regulators should be well-trained and all need to collaborate to create a safety procedures in order to reduce the number of radiation accidents because radiation therapy does not kill only cancer cells but can also damage normal cells, leading to side effects.
Answers to the Case Study Questions:
1. The concepts covered in the chapter are responsibility, accountability and liability. In this case we see