Since being founded in 1984, the Center for Practical Bioethics has recognized the importance of corporate financial support to achieve its vision and mission as a freestanding practical bioethics center. Aware of the potential for conflict between the interests of corporate sponsors and its own interests, the Center, its board of directors and staff, has made commensurate commitments to accountability, integrity, and professionalism in this realm throughout its history.
Guiding Principles for Corporate Support
The Center's longstanding conduct and practice are currently articulated in the following guiding principles for corporate support:
- • Integrity, professionalism, and accountability of its programs, communications, publications, and research.
• Independence and autonomy of the Center to pursue its mission free of undue influence, or the appearance of such influence, from external supporting sources.
• Freedom of discourse and ideas for bioethicists and program associates in the Center context.
The principles are intended to prevent the Center from being placed in a position of financial dependence on any one organization or industry and, therefore, to avoid a context in which following the principles might pose a threat to the integrity or operations of the Center. In addition, the guiding principles for corporate support complement the Center's parallel commitments regarding similar questions arising from other sources of financial support.
Definition of Corporate Support
Corporate support means financial contributions, gifts, grants, or sponsorships from any corporation, organization, association, or other entity that is not a governmental agency, philanthropic foundation, or individual philanthropist.
The Center for Practical Bioethics operates as a freestanding entity and maintains its autonomy and independence as a bioethics center in every respect. The Center remains solely responsible for the structure, direction, measurement, administration, and control of its programs, projects, and events and for all of its operations and activities.
The acceptance of corporate support does not and shall not mean or imply the Center's endorsement of a corporate sponsor's policies, activities, products, or services.
Freedom of Discourse and Ideas
The Center is committed to the exercise and preservation of the freedom of discourse and ideas on the part of its bioethicists and program associates, as well as the independence and autonomy of their work in the Center context.
Conflict of Interest
The Center will not accept corporate support in violation of the guiding principles.
Accounting and Monitoring of Corporate Support
The Center is a nonprofit corporation organized and operating under the laws of the State of Kansas and qualified as an exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, the Center is in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and rules. In addition to compliance with IRS regulations regarding corporate sponsorship payments, the Center follows FDA guidance on industry-supported scientific and educational activities and corresponding standards for commercial support of continuing medical education.
Center financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles consistently applied. These statements, along with all of the books and records of the company, are audited annually by an independent accounting firm.
The executive committee of the Center's board of directors will monitor corporate philanthropy on an ongoing basis. Disclosure and Recognition Financial support of any kind will be included on the Center's website and in appropriate publications after adequate time for review and processing by Center personnel. The Center also acknowledges corporate support related to meetings or other educational events, including in-kind contributions, in printed materials for each meeting or event, as well as on its website.
Issues and decisions regarding corporate support not addressed by these principles will be considered by the Center's chief executive officer in conjunction with the board of directors.