Innovative medical treatments in Singapore: How should we decide?

Associate Professor Tracey Evans Chan 1

1 Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore, 469G Bukit Timah Road, Eu Tong Sen Building, Singapore 259776

Innovative treatments in medicine have been the subject of ethical and regulatory debate. Within the past five years, their place in clinical practice has been the subject of scrutiny in two important appeals from the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Singapore Medical Council to the High Court: Devathasan v. SMC (2010) and Pang Ah San v. SMC (2013). This presentation will discuss the issues in both these appeals, their pronouncements on the categories of generally accepted treatment (under the SMC’s Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines) and innovative treatments, and the implications for clinical ethics and regulation of innovative medical treatments in Singapore.


Tracey Evans Chan is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, NUS, and specialises in biomedical law and ethics. He has published in the field both locally and internationally, and served in a number of Singapore expert committees on matters such as surrogacy, transplant ethics, human-animal combinations in biomedical research and mitochondrial germline modification.  He recently concluded a year-long secondment to the Singapore Ministry of Health as a Deputy Director in the Regulatory Policy and Legislation Division, where he assisted in the policy work for the recently enacted Human Biomedical Research Act 2015.

About the Association

The Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law (AABHL) was formed in 2009.

It encourages open discussion and debate on a range of bioethical issues, providing a place where people can ask difficult questions about ideas and practices associated with health and illness, biomedical research and human values.

The AABHL seeks to foster a distinctive Australasian voice in bioethics, and provide opportunities for international engagement through its membership, journal and conferences.

Members come from all the contributing humanities, social science and science disciplines that make up contemporary bioethics.

Many members have cross-disciplinary interests and all seek to broaden the dialogues in which all members of the wider community ultimately have an interest.

The AABHL is a supportive, creative and challenging community that provides a rich source of continuing academic refreshment and renewal.

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