i mean, it’s good of you to think about the ethical implications of your work and everything, as anyone who does well, anything, should be doing, but this story doesn’t really exemplify in the best way how coders are the last line of defence against unethical practices. if anything, it should make you question wtf the DOCTORS were doing — you know, the people who are ACTUALLY supposed to be the last line of defence for vulnerable patients. you think teenaged girls just like, arrived at the site you made, it suggested the drug for them to take, and then they just went out and got it? nope — they had to go to a doctor to get a prescription — you know, the people who are supposed to be trained to look into all the available information and medical literature on a specific drug before prescribing it. if there were already news articles out about people committing suicide, there was probably already medical journal articles about the likelihood of depression and suicide, and what made people more susceptible to it.
it’s doctors who are tasked with being the impartial caretakers. hell, they even have to take an OATH to be ethical in all circumstances. but how many times have we heard about doctors getting kickbacks and fancy lunches and fancy dinners just for prescribing a specific drug?
you could have refused to build that site, but then someone else would have just built it (maybe because they would have thought it would be the doctor’s job to prescribe the drug to the right people). y0u said yourself, there was nothing illegal about it. but doctors at least in theory have strict ethical obligations they have to follow above all else. so maybe we should be questioning how strict these obligations actually are.