Guidelines for Ethical Relations With Communications Media

The following guidelines are provided to members of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons for their interrelations with the public media. Adherence to these guidelines is a condition of membership. Noncompliance may subject a member to disciplinary action under the Society’s Bylaws, Article XI.

I.  News releases about STS members are considered appropriate when they report:
   A. election or appointment to important posts.
   B. receipt of awards, prizes or research grants.
   C. participation in scheduled lectures or programs.
   D. opening of practice.

II.  Press reports or television appearances are considered to be appropriate when they:
   A. are of professional interest and/or educate the public.
   B. emphasize techniques, methods or other relevant information.
   C. present information about a publication or presentation at a scientific meeting.

III.  Other truthful and non-deceptive communications to the public media also are considered appropriate.

IV.  Members should not participate in live broadcasts of surgical procedures to the general public. The Society believes a possibility exists wherein participating surgeons might fail to follow proper medical procedures or might be distracted because of the media and, thereby, deprive the patient of the highest quality care.

V.  Live broadcasts of surgical procedures are not permitted at the Annual Meeting sponsored by the Society.

VI.  Members should not communicate a patient’s medical history or condition to the media without the patient’s authorization, except for certain factual information which is in the public domain.

VII.  Responsibility for what becomes published, televised or related via radio or electronic media shall lie with the surgeon who releases the information.

Amended by the Board of Directors of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons: January 27, 2008

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