Bylaws Committee to consider amendments, proposed SOPs

Fellows urged to attend hearing, express opinions

An Open Hearing will be held today on a proposed amendment to the AAOS Bylaws. Also under consideration are proposed Standards of Professionalism (SOPs) on New Technology or New Techniques.

The Bylaws Committee Open Hearing will immediately follow the Resolutions Committee Open Hearing in Room 4601 of the Venetian Hotel and is anticipated to begin around 1:30 p.m. The recommendations of the Bylaws Committee will be presented at tomorrow’s business meetings.

Bylaws amendment

Bylaws Amendment Group #1 would change the evaluation process of proposed resolutions, bylaws amendments, and SOPs. Under the current system of adopting AAOS statements, the last group to review a statement forwards that statement as amended to the next reviewing body for consideration or vote. After the Resolutions or Bylaws Committees consider all comments made during the Open Hearing and the Business Meeting at the Annual Meeting, the versions ultimately adopted by these committees are sent to the fellowship for vote.

If the Bylaws Amendment Group #1 is adopted as proposed, the review process would remain essentially the same; however, the original sponsor of the statement would “control” what goes forward for review by the next reviewing body. Ultimately, the statement that the fellowship would vote on would be supported by the sponsor, and accompanied by information on what the Board of Councilors (BOC), Board of Specialty Societies (BOS), Board of Directors, and Resolutions or Bylaws Committees recommend regarding it. The fellowship would be asked to vote on the statement as approved by the sponsor, not on the recommendations of the Resolutions or Bylaws Committees at the Annual Meeting.

The BOC, BOS, and AAOS Board of Directors each recommend that Bylaws Amendment Group #1 not be adopted. If the Bylaws Committee also determines that Bylaws Amendment Group #1 should not be adopted, the proposed amendment will be withdrawn and not considered by the fellowship.

Proposed SOPs

Proposed SOPs on New Technology or New Techniques are also being considered by the Bylaws Committee in its capacity as the SOPs Oversight Committee. The proposed SOPs on New Technology or New Techniques state that it is essential that orthopaedic surgeons have appropriate training prior to using medical devices, biologics, drugs, and combination products. They also provide that an orthopaedic surgeon has the responsibility to do the following:

  • Be adequately trained before performing new procedures
  • Share with the patient his or her personal experience with new technologies and new techniques, when appropriate
  • Assess his or her own competence and ability to perform new procedures or utilize new technology in a nonemergency situation
  • Provide posttreatment care of the patient that includes the management of posttreatment complications through the period of convalescence until the residual effects of the surgical procedure are minimal and the risk of complications of the operation is predictably small

The SOPs include seven mandatory minimum standards for acceptable conduct for orthopaedic surgeons when using new technology or utilizing new techniques.

The BOC and BOS, which voted on the proposed SOPs in October, support the adoption of these proposed SOPs. The AAOS Board of Directors, however, has voted not to support adoption of the SOPs. The Board’s recommendation was based on input from the Committee on Professionalism, which considered these SOPs to be unnecessary at this time. In addition, there were numerous revisions suggested to the proposed SOPs from the Councils on Education and Research, Quality Assurance and Technology. The Ethics Committee considered all of these comments and developed the proposed SOPs being presented at this meeting.

Voting to follow meeting

The official meeting notice sent to each fellow in January included a full text of the proposed SOPs as well as copies of the proposed Bylaws amendment and the recommendations of the BOC, BOS, and AAOS Board of Directors. The Bylaws Committee encourages all fellows to attend the open hearing and express their opinions. All fellows will have the opportunity to vote on the recommendations of the AAOS Bylaws Committee on the proposed Bylaws amendment and the proposed SOPs shortly after the 2009 Annual Meeting.