1. The Medical Ethics Alliance (the Alliance) shall be an independent
body with no political affiliations.
The Alliance is formed to research and provide information on medical ethics
in relation to the Hippocratic tradition and world religions in order to bring
about honest and open debate.
In order to carry out the above objects the Alliance shall have power to:
(a) make representations, or cause representations to be made, to professional bodies, government departments and public authorities whether in the United Kingdom or abroad, and to the general public.
(b) take action through its members or officers to ensure that matters relating to medical ethics are known, understood and taken into account in reaching decisions.
(c) publish letters and make written representations to newspapers, radio,
television and other media.
(d) organise public and private meetings.
(e) co-operate with other medical and non-medical bodies.
(f) to offer confidential non-financial advice to any member faced with an ethical dilemma.
(g) take any other action in pursuance of the above objects.
4. INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP
Membership of the Alliance shall be open to persons in the following categories provided that they can subscribe to the Mission Statement set out below:
(a) health care workers
(b) any other person, who subscribes to the objects of the Alliance, at the absolute discretion of the Council of the Alliance.
The Council of the Alliance shall have absolute discretion on any questions relating to eligibility for membership.
The Medical Ethics Alliance affirms the unique value of all human life, its God-given dignity and its consequent right to protection in law. We are certain that all persons are of inestimable worth, irrespective of illness and disability. The pursuit and practice of medical excellence is dependent on sound ethical principles. The Alliance looks to the Declaration of Geneva for inspiration.
A copy of the Declaration of Geneva is attached to this Constitution.
5. GROUP MEMBERSHIP
Group membership shall be open to other bodies at the absolute discretion of
Council provided that:
(a) The body can subscribe to the objects of the Alliance,
(b) The body can sign the Mission Statement set out at 4 above.
Membership shall attach to the group and not to the individual members thereof.
(a) Council shall absolute discretion as to the level of subscriptions and shall have power to fix different levels of subscriptions for different categories of members.
(b) Members whose subscriptions remain unpaid more than six months after the due date for payment shall cease to be members.
7. REMOVAL OF MEMBERS FROM THE ROLL
Members may be removed from the roll by Council subject to the following conditions:
(a) the member concerned must be given fourteen days notice of the proposal to remove him/her from the roll,
(b) the notice referred to in (a) above must include the reasons for the proposal,
(c) the member concerned shall have the right to make written representations to Council,
(d) the vote by Council must be by a majority of at least two thirds of those present and voting.
Council shall consist of:
(a) the officers of the Alliance as defined in 10 below,
(b) twenty-one other members, who may be individual members, members of groups which are members of the Alliance, or associate members, elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Alliance after having been duly proposed and seconded in writing.
The following other rules shall apply to Council:
Council may co-opt a member in order to fill a casual vacancy.
One third of the members of Council shall retire by rotation in every year, the order of retirement being determined by seniority of membership. However, this rule shall not apply during the first three years of the existence of the Alliance, and in the fourth, fifth and sixth years of the existence of the Alliance the order of retirement shall be determined alphabetically by surname. Retiring members shall be eligible for re-election. For the avoidance of doubt it is declared that the year in which a member was elected to fill a casual vacancy shall not count towards his/her seniority.
Council shall appoint such committees as it thinks fit, and up to 50% of the membership of such committees may be drawn from members not on Council.
The quorum for both Council and committee meetings shall be one-third of the total membership of the relevant body.
(a) The officers, who shall be honorary, shall form the Executive and shall consist of the following:
(ii) two Vice-Chairmen,
(v) Publicity Officer,
(vi) such other officers as Council shall appoint.
(b) Officers, apart from the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, may be drawn from any membership categories, including members of groups which are members of theAlliance, but the Chairman and Vice-Chairman must be individual members.
(c) Officers in categories (a)–(d) above shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting, having been proposed and seconded in writing by members of Council. Officers shall hold office for one year but may be re-elected for up to two more one year terms of office. A casual vacancy in an office shall be filled by a simple majority vote in Council and the year in which that office holder was elected to fill the casual vacancy shall not count towards the maximum three years as defined above in which he/she may hold that office.
(d) The usual correspondence of theAllianceshall be conducted by the Secretary according to the directions of Council and the other officers.
(e) No member of the Executive shall acquire any interest in property owned by the Alliance or receive any remuneration (except by way of expenses) or be personally interested in any contract entered into by the Executive.
10. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (A.G.M.)
An A.G.M. shall be held at a date, time and place to be determined by Council. Not more than fifteen months shall elapse between Annual General Meetings.
(a) Not less than fourteen days notice in writing shall be sent by the Secretary
to all members, specifying the business to be transacted.
(b) A report by Council and audited accounts shall be presented to the A.G.M. for approval.
(c) Notice of any motion to be presented to an A.G.M. shall be forwarded to the Secretary not less than fourteen days before the notice convening the A.G.M. is sent out and the Secretary will advise all members of this date
not less than fourteen days beforehand.
(d) The decision of the Chairman of the A.G.M. on any point of order shall be
(e) If neither the Chairman nor either of the two vice-chairmen are present the meeting shall elect a vice-chairman.
(f) All decisions shall be determined a majority of those present and voting. In the event of an equality of votes the Chairman shall have the casting vote.
11. EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING (E.G.M.)
(a) An E.G.M. may be called by the Chairman
(b) An E.G.M. shall also be called if at least fifty members sign a requisition specifying the business which they wish to be transacted. The requisition shall be addressed to the Chairman and the Chairman, having satisfied himself/herself that the business is within the objects of the Alliance, shall instruct the Secretary to give fourteen days notice of the meeting in writing to all members.
(a) Accounts which have been submitted to an A.G.M. shall subsequently be presented to the next meeting of Council.
(b) All monies received shall be paid into the banking account of the Medical Ethics Alliance.
(c) The Treasurer shall be responsible for disbursements.
(d) The funds of the Alliance shall be at the disposal of Council for all expenses connected with the administration of the Alliance.
(e) Council may invest the funds of the Alliance in such manner as it determines.
(f) The signature of the Treasurer and one other approved Officer shall be
required on all cheques.
14 AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
(a) Subject to the following provisions of this clause the Constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less that two-thirds of the members present and voting at a general meeting. The notice of the general meeting must include notice of the resolution, setting out the terms of the alteration proposed.
(b) No amendment may be made to clauses 1, 2, 10(e), 13 or 14 without the prior consent in writing of the Charity Commissioners.
(c) No amendment may be made which would have the effect of making the charity cease to be a Charity at law.
(d) The Executive shall promptly send to the Charity Commissioners a copy of any amendment made under this clause.
15. DISSOLUTION OF THE ALLIANCE
The Alliance may be dissolved at any time by a resolution passed by a majority of 75% of the members present and voting at an E.G.M. Any property and monies held by or for the Alliance and remaining after the satisfaction of any debts and liabilities of the Alliance shall be applied cy-pres in pursuance of a scheme approved by the Charity Commissioners under their powers contained in the Charities Act 2012 and any subsequent enactments.
16. APPLICABLE LAW
The law which will be applicable to the activities of the Alliance shall be the law of England and Wales.