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    In October 2004, the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Board of Trustees adopted the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Expert Witness Affirmation to help members who provide expert testimony. The affirmation declares the expert witness will uphold certain professional principles in providing testimony. The affirmation is consistent with the Academy's Rule of Ethics 16, “Expert Testimony” (see below), and is intended for voluntary use by Academy fellows and members who wish to document their commitment to serving as a knowledgeable and ethical expert witness.

    Fellows and members may elect to sign the affirmation (see following page) and give it to the attorney representing the party on whose behalf they intend to testify. The document is for the fellows’ and members’ personal use and files; please do not forward it to the Academy.

    The affirmation may be used in litigation as part of the qualifications of those who have signed it. The affirmation has proven useful to members of other organizations having similar statements about appropriate expert witness testimony.

    Rule of Ethics 16
    Expert Testimony. Expert testimony should be provided in an objective manner using medical knowledge to form expert medical opinions. Nonmedical factors (such as solicitation of business from attorneys, competition with other physicians, and personal bias unrelated to professional expertise) should not bias testimony. It is unethical for a physician to accept compensation that is contingent upon the outcome of litigation. False, deceptive or misleading expert testimony is unethical. For purposes of this Rule, expert testimony shall include oral testimony provided under oath, affidavits and declarations used in court proceedings and certificates of merit signed, ratified or otherwsie adopted by the physician. 

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology fully acknowledges the American College of Surgeons as the originator of this material regarding the Expert Witness Affirmation and the excerpted accompanying introductory information.



    January 2015

    Click here for the Expert Witness Affirmation document.