Engineering Ethics to Prevent Suicidal Attempts
Death and mortality rates in the recent decades have escalated at an unprecedented rate all across the globe. Suicide is one of the integral attempts of numerous people in order to end the beautiful gift of life given by God. However, while taking the United States into account, it is prudent to note that suicide is amongst the leading causes of death where the ratio of people committing suicide is very high on annual basis. In fact, the rates of suicidal attempts are much more than homicide and murder rates.
Bridges, skyscrapers, tall structures and buildings are amongst the integral constructed sites from where the natives commit suicide. The accidental incidents on these structures are usually undersigned and unintended but on many instances these events are forced (triggered through suicide). Severe mental catastrophe, trauma or overall circumstances are the principal reactive and responsive aspects of the suicidal attempts. Nevertheless, permanent damage is the consequence if the individual fails to commit suicide that typically requires special care and treatment on a long-term basis.
Engineering Prevention Techniques of Discouraging Suicidal Attempts
Since the structures that are the main source of suicide for numerous people, engineers are they key people who can alleviate the drastic disaster of suicides. This is particularly because the engineers are the responsible people for the construction of such bridges, skyways, tall structures and buildings. Therefore, they are the vital source that can prevent such dramatic events from happening. The engineers can perhaps discourage the people from committing suicides from such tall buildings and bridges by designing them keeping the nitty-gritty in mind and consideration such that it becomes practically unfeasible or not viable for the people to commit suicide. This way a lot of human lives can be saved on yearly basis (Gorp 95-120).
In fact, the utilization of various forms of barriers such as high boundaries or wired nets and other defensive measures while building and constructing the bridges, motor skyways and other related tall structures would be one of the effective ways that can prevent and suppress from the occurrences of tragic events of suicides. All the buildings and constructions must come under consideration where both few and major kinds of suicidal attempts have been witnessed and traced. This is particularly due to the reason that people are likely to commit suicide by jumping or falling off the bridges or tall buildings (Gorp 95-120).
In order to de-motivate or alarm the individuals from committing suicides the engineers ought to put huge sign boards of warnings and cautions especially near such buildings and overpasses that are common spots for suicidal attempts (Gorp 95-120). Moreover, a hotline or helpline phone number should also put into effect, as it would be a sign of pressure that would discourage the individuals intending to commit suicide at such places. This is one of the measures that should be applied to all existing and new constructions or structures that can be considered as risky for the individuals and promote them to commit suicide.
Engineers and other authoritative officials can also alleviate or reduce the unpleasant incidents of suicide by restricting and limiting the access of general public to the sites (which even include balconies of tall structures) that are commonly and universally used by a huge population as a popular location for committing suicide. As a consequence, such actions would act like disrupting events where lethal actions of suicide attempts are likely to occur by large amount of natives and would be hindrance in proceeding with their plans of suicide. In this regard, one of the simple ways to protect the people and discourage them from jumping off the windows of tall buildings is to restrict access by installing grills to the windows. This would thwart the efforts of the people from attempting the suicidal actions (Yarnell 200-210).
Another method that can be applied to de-motivate the masses from ending their lives by means of suicide is constructing barriers near the railway lines that can restrict the access of general people from the railway lines, as it is considerably one of the most universal spot of suicide (Yarnell 200-210).
Lastly, but very prominently, is the consideration of potential risks of suicides by the engineers and contractors. The councils should promote and persuade the engineers as well as contractors to have a check and balance on the potential risks with appropriate and effective preventive measures, when the site (such as multi-story buildings, tall structures, bridges and skyscrapers) is being constructed and built.
Moral Responsibility for Managing Rapid Traffic Flow
With regards to the responsibility, according to a personal opinion, it is merely the moral responsibility of the engineers and contractors of managing and maintaining the rapid flow of the traffic. Additionally, to keep the masses away and de-motivate them from such attempts using the sites such as bridges, tall structures and others, because these are constructed for people’s feasibility and easiness that can provide them with beautiful and technologically advanced options.
Therefore, it is the ethical and moral duty of the engineers to protect the residents on a broad spectrum by applying all possible means of ensuring that the construction does not pose any threat to the human life. Indeed, engineers should make certain the protection and safety with respect to the structural system that is widely and commonly used by the citizens, as it is also a part of the values, principles and code of conduct of the engineering ethics. Nevertheless, the engineers can comprehensively fulfill and match up to their moral responsibilities by applying and installing the preventive measures on such constructions, because that would largely discourage the people from committing suicide from these places (Schinzinger & Martin 17-24).
Costs Associated to Suicide Prevention Devices or Procedures
The construction and application of preventive measures or devices is not the only aspect of the sites, but the associated costs and its effectiveness is also a major concern of the engineers. It is prudent to note that the costs linked to the installation of preventive devices and procedures could become very expensive and costly that can discourage the people from using these sites (that incorporate bridges, railway tracks, skyways and tall structures) as lethal means to end their lives (Dyble 205-214).
While taking into consideration the costs associated with the construction of bridges, multistory buildings, car parks and skyways, the engineers while working in partnership with other units or sectors can require from thousands U.S. dollars on the minimum side which can go up to millions of U.S. dollars in order to ensure the safety and protection of the city dwellers from commitment of suicide. However, the total costs of the structures (of both installations of precautions as well as construction) usually depend upon their size and height. This signifies that the costs associated with construction of these sites with the precautions can be quite expensive (Dyble 205-214).
Effectiveness and Worth of Suicide Prevention Devices or Procedures
Even though the cost is very high and engineers put their best efforts in the construction of such sites, yet the devices and procedures cannot ensure hundred percent protection or prevention to the attempts of the people from committing suicides. This is particularly due to the reason that the likelihood or the speed with which general public think of committing suicide can only be alleviated or condensed with the application of these devices and procedures (Dyble 205-214).
However, one cannot ignore the fact that the precautionary steps that are installed with the construction of the sites decrease the danger, threat and risk to the human life to a great extent. At the same time these devices are very heavy for the structures and may require additional costs of labor, telephone lines and close monitoring or supervision (Dyble 205-214).
For the tall buildings and structures, the elaborate precautions can only prove to be effectual and useful in case if the engineers are able to prevent the people (by limiting the access) from jumping off the options that incorporate the windows or balconies (Dyble 205-214).
With respect to the effectiveness of installation of precautionary devices and procedures, from a personal viewpoint, the price paid for it is worth the efforts and is completely justified. This is principally due to the reason that human life is a beautiful and precious gift that cannot be evaluated or weighed against any costs. One should not overlook or ignore the human rights act, according to which all the human beings have the right of protection of their lives. Therefore, all possible means should be applied that can ensure that even a single life is saved, no matter if it takes thousands or millions of dollars (Poel & Royakkers 4.1-4.2).
Selling of Ideas to Taxpayers, Voters and Public Officials
As mentioned earlier, the installation of these devices and approaches is an expensive exercise; therefore, the idea needs to be sold to the taxpayers, voters and public officials so that the installation exercise is ensured. As far as the taxpayers are concerned, I would provide them a comprehensive budget plan and explain them how their invested money would be used. Based on it I would also enlighten what benefits their investments can bring to the general public and the importance of the project. By providing the taxpayers with a detailed plan would ensure the accountability of their investments.
It is also substantial to sell the idea to the voters, which can be a difficult exercise, but a strategic, well calculated and premeditated proposal would be a good option to present and convince them that provides them a detailed report of the importance of the project. I would also highlight the benefits and privileges that the assignment can bring to the public over the limitations of it.
The public officials are considerably the most significant people to consider while selling the idea, as these are the key resources that grant the approval for the project that already has the backing of voters and taxpayers. In order to get endorsement for the project, these officials would have to be convinced on the significance, feasibility and practicality of the project. In this regard, I would communicate the gains and benefits of the implementation of the project in a broad spectrum that it can provide to not only the people who intend to commit suicide from such spots but also the entire populace in several ways.
Would Increased Suicide Rate change Logic, Views or Professional Conduct?
Even after implementing the essential and highly sophisticated safety measures, if the suicidal rates are escalating, my professional conduct as well as my logic would not change. Nonetheless, my views would not remain the same on the subject matter of suicide, and I would look out for much better options and approaches that can best fit with keeping all the aspects (such as associated costs) in mind.
The principal reason of not changing the two aspects (my professional conduct and logic) is predominantly due to the reason that my career is the core purpose of my life and existence, and the logic and professional life is based on my professional conduct and behavior. While on the other hand, I am not confined and restricted with my views and they usually vary and alter with respect to the changing circumstances or situations. Since opinions and submission of ideas ultimately leads to the resolutions and best options; thus, I would have varying views with respect to the issue of suicidal attempts and how can I discourage and prevent the people from doing so.
For instance, if the highly sophisticated precautionary measures in terms of devices and procedures fail in preventing the people from committing suicides, I would opt for other alternatives that can help the people in changing their attitudes toward their lives in order to reduce the rate of suicide. From a personal perspective, I believe that since media plays an integral role in the lives of the people; hence, both media and publications (such as magazine, pamphlets and other print media advertisements) are another strong option that can educate the people and promote and persuade them to live a healthy life. As a consequence, the people would again be discouraged against suicidal attempts and its harmful impacts of failure.
Public campaigns or rallies periodically are again one of the edifying and enriching options or alternatives to drive the people away from their intentions of suicide attempts. This social tactic in contrast to the elaborate precautions can be one of the effective means to prevent the large population from engaging in such events (Younes 76-87).
Since the people who think of suicidal attempts are mentally disturbed to a certain extent; therefore, psychoanalysis, counseling and therapy centers can serve as good alternatives to direct and guide the people towards life all over again. The support and encouragement of the family members of such people should always be there that can help the distressed person to come back to the normal life and not develop thoughts of suicide (Younes 76-87). To put it briefly, the efforts from the general populace would definitely help in reducing the likelihood of the suicidal attempts.
Dyble, Louise. Paying the Toll: Local Power, Regional Politics, and the Golden Gate Bridge. USA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. Print.
Gorp, Anke van. Ethical Issues in Engineering Design; Safety and Sustainability. Netherland: 3TU Ethics, 2005. Print.
Poel, I.V. D, & Royakkers, L. Ethics, Technology, and Engineering: An Introduction. USA: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print.
Schinzinger, R. & Martin, Mike, W. Introduction to engineering ethics. USA: McGraw Hill, 2000. Print.
Yarnell, John, W.G. Epidemiology and Prevention: A Systems-Based Approach. USA: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.
Younes, Anne Matthews. To Live to See the Great Day That Dawns: Preventing Suicide by American Indian and Alaska Native Youth and Young Adults. USA: DIANE Publishing, 2011. Print.
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