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Ethics Case Studies



**Please note: Some cases are based on real situations and some are fictional.

Multi-disciplinary cases:

Cases from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics --at Santa Clara University. Includes cases on business ethics, medical ethics, governmental, and technology ethics.

Ethics Across the Curriculum - Case Studies-- Utah Valley State College. Emerging from their Ethics Across the Curriculum program in 1993, this page has a large collection of cases dealing with business, technology, medical ethics, etc. More cases can also be seen here.

Ethics Education Library - database of cases from engineering, medicine, science, business, etc. developed by CSEP

Hale Chair in Applied Ethics Resources- Rochester Institute of Technology. Twenty three cases detailed cases cover a wide variety of ethical topics by Lisa Newton, Director of the Program in Applied Ethics at Fairfield University.

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science- An excellent collection of peer-reviewed cases covering both the sciences and social sciences. Filter search results by the Topic: Ethics. 


Ethical Dilemmas in Professional Price in Anthropology -  A ethics toolkit that includes cases discussing ethical issues faced by social anthropologists. 


Ethics in Anthropology - a large collection of case studies from the Society for American Archeology's annual ethics bowl which ran from 2004-2012, as well as course syllabi.

Architecture Ethics Cases

American Institute of Architects National Ethics Council Advisory Opinions - a small collection of cases presented to the AIA's National Ethics Council, and the discussion and opinions of the Council. These cases include references to sections in the 2004 AIA's Code of Ethics.

Business & Accounting Ethics Cases

AICPA's Accounting and Business Ethics case studies--American Institute of Certified Accountants. Includes pdf file of case and teaching notes. Case on accounting fraud and corporate governance.

AICPA's cases & commentaries, "Ethics and Fraud in Business" --Much like the previous site, this collection of cases covers professional ethics, corporate leadership, regulatory, legal and financial analysis in the context of ethical dilemmas. Most cases include commentary.

Arthur Andersen - Ethics case studies: 1987-1994 -Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business. This collection of 90 case studies is a product of program sponsored by Author Anderson to promote ethical awareness in business schools. Cases cover a wide range of topics. -a list of links to other cases. Site also includes a bibliography of articles and books on business ethics. Aspen Institute Business and Society Program. This is one of the largest collections of business ethics cases freely available on the internet. Cases can be searched by discipline, topic, or keyword.

Emerson Center for Business Ethics cases--John Cook School of Business, St. Louis University. Includes Center-sponsered case studies and case studies written by students.

Institute of Business Ethics Index to Cases- a small but interesting collection of business ethics cases. Many cases include teaching guides and bibliographies.

Playing by the Rules - an excellent collection of video cases on ethical issues that arise in workplace situations. Includes teaching guides for use in undergraduate and graduate classes. 

Web Miner's Guide to Business Ethics Cases-a comprehensive list of links to other business ethics case sources.

Computer Science/Programming Cases

Cases about Computers and Software-Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science,. Small collection of cases. site contains three well-researched historical computer cases including accompanying teaching materials and supporting documents. The coases covered are Therac-25 (a radiation therapy device that delivered fatal overdoses), Machado (the first successfully procecuted case of an online hate crime), and Huges Aircraft (a whistleblowing case).

Princeton Dialogues on AI and Ethics - A collection of six cases exploring issues at the intersection of AI, Ethics and Society including issues of health care, criminal justice, privacy, discrimination and fairness. 

Education Cases

Case Studies in Education-Utah Valley State College. A collection of cases covering all aspects of education ethics from plagiarism to tenure.

Research Ethics and Academic Integrity- a collection of videos showing case studies dealing with academic integrity. Produced by Syracuse University. Videos available online.

Engineering Ethics Cases

ASCE's Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice-- each issue includes a case study. Full text of journal available.

Design Failure Lessons--from University of Texas at Austin. Covers four design flaw cases including the Ford Pinto Case and the Challenger space shuttle explosion. Each case includes links to a number of background articles and references.

Civil Engineering Cases -Carleton University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Not the best design, but find the section Contents of this Catalogue and follow link to the list of cases, and you can find the full text of a number of engineering cases. Cases can also be ordered. Ethics Case Studies- a collection of 18 cases including a timeline of events, a detailed examination of the incident, ethical points for discussion, and a bibliography for each case.

Engineering Ethics: Concepts and Cases-cases from the book, Engineering Ethics: Concepts and Cases by Charles E. Harris Jr.

Learning from Failure Engineering Disasters --Materials Science and Engineering at University of New York, Stonybrook. An introduction to engineering failures, also includes a link to cases written by faculty.

NSPE Board of Ethical Review Cases - A list of real cases presented to the National Society of Professional Engineers review board from 1976-2001. Includes summary of case and decisions made in relation to the NSPE Code of Ethics.

Online Ethics Center Cases About Engineering Professional Practice-an extensive list of cases provided by the National Academy of Engineering .

Penn State College of Engineering ethics cases a list of cases available on the web, as well as a collection of articles on using cases to teach engineering ethics.

Teaching Engineering Ethics with Cases -essay & resources by Michael Pritchard

Texas A&M University Engineering Ethics Cases -case studies taken from a variety of sources. .

UBC Library - Examples of Engineering Failures- University of British Columbia. A collection of reports, press releases, and statements relating to famous engineering failures.

Journalism Cases

Ethics Case Studies- Society of Professional Journalists. A small collection of case studies. Site also includes link to SPJ Code of Ethics.

Journalism Ethics Cases Online- School of Journalism, Indiana University-Bloomington. A large list of cases covering all aspects of journalism. Indexed by topics.

Poynter Online Journalistic Case Studies- an impressive collection of journalism cases. Page also includes a number of 'tip sheets' that describe how to deal with cases of plagiarism, undisclosed sources, etc.

Military Cases

Ethics of War Peace and Terrorism- University of San Diego. Small collection of cases. Site also has a number of articles and other resources on military ethics.

Military cases-Air University, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base. A small collection of summarized case studies. Site also includes links to articles on military ethics.

Science & Medicine/Bioethics Cases

Bioethics Outreach--Case Studies - Iowa State University. A large collection of case studies covering a wide range of subjects from biotechnology to agriculture.

Case Study Collection -National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, State University of New York in Buffalo. This site has cases dealing with all different branches of biology and medicine. Cases are divided by discipline and each case includes teaching notes. Also see other case study sites on the WWW.

Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity case studies- a small collection of case studies put out by the American Medical Association and the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity . Each case includes commentary from a Christian perspective.

Ethics Case Studies in Biodesign- Stanford University. A collection of 15 short cases dealing with biodesign.

Ethics in the Science Classroom -Western Michigan University. A small collection of cases dealing with genetic testing, racism in science, and research ethics.

Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research- Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions. Indiana University Bloomington. Cases taken from book Moral Reasoning in Scientific Research.

UK Clinical Ethics Network--Case Studies-a small collection of medical ethics cases.

Other Disciplines (education, funeral, etc)

American Anthropological Association -Ethical Currents Case Studies

Cyber ethics--case studies -a small collection of cases dealing with censorship on the internet and recent policies such as the Communications Decency Act. Some links are broken.

Funeral Ethics Organization- a collection of short cases exploring the professional ethics of the funeral industry.

Ethics for Trades and Technology- Utah Valley State College. A collection of cases dealing with general ethical questions in workplace.