Division of Medical Ethics Disclosure Policy
The Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone strives for transparency in all facets of our research and scholarship, including disclosure about relationships with companies, organizations, and other institutions. We are pioneering a form of disclosure that is more thorough and transparent than the standard policy, going beyond simply listing the names of entities with which there is a relationship to describing the nature of those relationships.
We urge our own faculty and other researchers to provide substantive information about the nature of their work with an entity in order to make an accurate and informative disclosure. Researchers can adopt this broader concept of transparency by including the following information in their statements:
- all significant financial relationships of $500 or more, including sources of funding, honoraria, or any compensation for work, including travel-related expenses
- affiliations with political, advocacy, legal, or similar organizations, if relevant to your work, including work performed for organizations and compensation received from them
- any other relationships that you may consider relevant, and the nature of these relationships
Disclosures can be tailored to audiences. For example, the author of a survey about pharmaceutical company malfeasance need not reveal ties to Planned Parenthood, but the author should reveal these ties in a written commentary about the U.S. Congress’s cuts to international family planning programs.
Examples of Ethical Disclosure
A researcher should explain both his or her relationship to a company or organization and the type of work he or she does with the company. For example, stating that you are a consultant for a pharmaceutical company could imply several types of potential relationships.
Note that the disclosure from Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, director of the Division of Medical Ethics, does not merely state that he consults for Johnson & Johnson. In it, he also explains that he is the “chair of a panel of patient advocates, bioethicists, and physicians that advises the company on how to allocate investigational agents on a compassionate use basis.” The disclosure from assistant professor Alison Bateman-House, PhD, MPH, is similarly specific about individual relationships.