The BAC was established by the Singapore Cabinet in December 2000. It was tasked to address the ethical, legal and social issues arising from biomedical sciences research in Singapore.
Progress in Singapore's biomedical sciences has been rapid. Singapore is building upon a strong public sector infrastructure for the biomedical sciences that comprises hospitals and specialty centres, research institutes, and universities. Activities in biomedical sciences are focused on healthcare services, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnology and basic biomedical research. This development has become increasingly internationalised and carries numerous, ethical, legal and social implications.
The rational and responsible management of bioethical issues is integral and critical to the national effort to develop biomedical sciences, and decisions regarding the biomedical sciences and research need to be solidly based on good science and high ethical and legal standards. To this end, the BAC actively gathers information and views from the international and local community, and after careful deliberation, makes recommendations to the Singapore Government.
The awareness of the Singapore community at large on such issues is also important in the move towards a knowledge-based economy and a high quality of public life. Accordingly, an element of public education is included as part of the remit of the BAC.