Statement on COI
Approved by the ASA House of Delegates on October 13, 1993, amended on October 15, 2003 and last updated on November 19, 2008
Members of ASA are encouraged to serve the interests of the specialty and its practitioners by participating in activities of the Society. Participation includes, but is not limited to serving as a member of an ASA committee, as an ASA representative to another organization or as one of the Society’s directors or officers. All of these represent positions of trust and require the exercise of independent personal judgment.
When ASA members agree to serve in any of these capacities, they have a duty to avoid involving themselves in conflicts, or apparent conflicts, between their duties to the Society and personal interests or duties they may have to other organizations. A conflict of interest may not disqualify an individual from rendering service to ASA, but may necessitate an alteration in the member’s duties or disclosure of the conflict or apparent conflict so that the words or deeds of the member can be evaluated by others.
It is not possible to define all circumstances in which such a conflict of interest may arise. A conflict of interest can be assumed to exist when an ASA member or someone in the member’s immediate family is involved in a relationship or arrangement, the terms of which may be inconsistent with, or appear to be inconsistent with performance of the member’s duties or exercise of judgment on the Society’s behalf. A conflict may also involve exploitation of a member’s position with the Society for the purpose of personal gain.
To avoid such conflicts or apparent conflicts and to avoid exploitation of an office, the Society maintains a mechanism by which members nominated for or holding ASA positions, or serving on the executive staff, are required to provide the Society with information which may bear upon the member’s capacity to perform contemplated duties and exercise independent judgment on the Society’s behalf. The Society also requires that lecturers at ASA-sponsored scientific meetings disclose, both in the meeting program and at the time of the presentation, arrangements which could be viewed as affecting the objectivity of the lecturer’s presentation.
Avoidance of conflicts requires constant sensitivity to the issue by all members and the disclosure of actual or potential conflicts for review and appropriate resolution.