Would it make a difference if the design was primarily for economically-developed.

Designing for Third World Countries – A New Dialysis Machine

You are an engineer working for a company designing dialysis equipment for worldwide


You are interested in designing both for economically-developed countries and third-

world countries. In economically-developed countries there are working dialysis systems,

but your design would be an improvement. In the third-world, access to any dialysis

equipment is currently limited.

Choice #1: You have two design options:

•A design using disposable filters that would be replaced with each patient

•A design involving a 100 times more expensive reusable filter that could be cleaned,

autoclaved and reused with each patient


•Purchase of disposables in the third world is difficult and not typically funded by

charitable organizations and government entities that might be willing to purchase or

donate the equipment

•The reusable filter would require much more training, autoclaves, and would be more

expensive initially (although cheaper in the long-term (after 100 patients)

•The second design, in the hands of untrained personnel, could be more dangerous

•The first design would be more profitable for your company in economically developed

countries as hospitals would continue to buy disposable filters

•Manufacturing and FDA approval costs are such that your company can only move

forward on one design

Choice #2: Secondary infection is a risk in dialysis. Such an infection in a patient with

kidney disease could result in long-term injury and increased risk of death. You have a

choice between three design options:

•The first design will have a secondary infection rate of 1 in 1,000

•The second design will have a secondary infection rate of 1 in 1,000,000 and cost 10 times the first design

•The third design will have a secondary infection rate of 1 in 5,000,000 and cost 100 times the first design

Which design will you choose?

Would it make a difference if the design was primarily for economically-developed

countries or for third-world countries?

Initial responses are due Thursday, October 1.  Please respond to at least two of your classmates posts by Sunday, Oct 4.

Learning Activity #2

Truth Telling – Case Study – Italian Tax Mores by Arthur Kelly

The normal way of filing taxes is to put in a very low number, which starts a protracted series of negotiations, eventually ending up with a higher number being paid. This new bank did not follow this and the Italian authorities assumed it was stated in the normal understated fashion.

Discuss the ethical implications. Do you apply your values or that of the “Italian Way”?

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