American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Statement on Disclosure of Commercial Interest

Questions have been raised concerning participation by Fellows in commercial advertising or promotional activities for products or services under circumstances in which it is not readily apparent that the Fellow is receiving remuneration for such activity, with consequent possibility of bias.

Article VII, Section 1(i), of the College Bylaws provides that Fellows may be disciplined for "Participating in communications to the public which convey false, untrue, deceptive, or misleading information through statements, testimonials, photographs, graphics, or other means, or which omit material information without which the communication would be deceptive."

In situations in which a Fellow's failure to disclose his or her financial interest in or arrangement with a commercial enterprise makes it likely that other professionals or the public will be unable to evaluate accurately statements made about the products or services, the statements may be misleading or deceptive. Under such circumstances, failure to disclose remuneration or financial interest may constitute grounds for disciplinary action under Article VII, Section 1(i) of the College Bylaws.

Reprinted from Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons
Vol. 74, No. 6, Page 55, January 1989