Physicians, allied health professionals and scientists, should act according to the highest professional standards in patient care, research and relations with others, including medical industry.
Guidelines for prevention, diagnosis, and management of disease are provided by professional organizations, such as the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Furthermore, the ESC, as well as other medical organizations, provides a forum for presentation of the newest research findings at congresses and in scientific journals, and offers programmes for training and continuing medical education (CME). Many advances in patient care—diagnostic tests, medication, equipment, and devices—have been developed and were introduced by industrial companies, often in close collaboration with universities and hospitals. Therefore, the relations between industry and individual physicians, scientists, universities, and medical professional organizations are of particular interest. Promotion of new developments that may improve healthcare is in the interest of patients and physicians, provided that conferences, educational materials, and programmes organized by the ESC are unbiased by commercial interests. The Board of the ESC emphasized this in a policy statement, which included strict recommendations for transparency and disclosure of relations between representatives from the medical profession and industry, concerning scientific communication and education.
Nevertheless, in recent years, some members of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) have been discharged or suspended by their universities because of scientific or financial misconduct. Furthermore, the relations between ESC and industry have been questioned.
To address these issues it has been suggested that the ESC and similar professional organizations should appoint an ‘Ethical and Oversight Committee’ to oversee the conduct of its members and to take appropriate action if professional misconduct or biased relations with industry are suspected or apparent. To further this discussion and to assess the possible role of an ‘Ethical and Oversight Committee’, in this report we herewith review the ethical standards, which apply to the members of the ESC and to the ESC itself, indicate how the ESC can ensure compliance with ethical standards and discuss which organization may be expected to investigate and act upon possible violations.,
European Heart Journal
Department of Cardiology

Simoons, M.L, Bassand, J-P, Bax, J.J, Bertrand, M, Breithardt, G, Ferrari, R, … Vardas, P.E. (2016). How can the European Society of Cardiology ensure compliance with ethical standards?. European Heart Journal (Vol. 37, pp. 741–744). doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehv651