Washington International Law Journal


Taiwo A. Oriola


In 2000, Singapore established the national "Bioethics Advisory Committee" to examine the ethical, moral, social, and legal implications of life sciences and biotechnology. The Committee will examine numerous topics, including genetic discrimination, cloning, and stem cell research. The Committee is expected to release its frast set of recommendations concerning stem cell research in the first half of 2002. This paper proposes that leveraging Singapore into a world-class biomedical research center will entail synchronizing the relevant areas of its legal ethics infrastructure and culture with that of the major players in the global biotechnology industry. Conversely, adhering to prevailing local ethical views will undermine its competitiveness in a field in which the market is truly global. This hypothesis is predicated on the transient and imprecise nature of ethics and the relative certainty of biotechnology's commercial promise in light of post-Chakrabarty intellectual property law.

First Page