Science Scores a Minor Victory Over Religion – Stem Cell Research Gets Funding

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON — A lawsuit that had threatened to end the Obama administration’s funding of embryonic stem cell research was dismissed Wednesday, allowing the U.S. to continue supporting a search for cures to deadly diseases over protests that the work relies on destroyed human embryos.

The lawsuit claimed that research funded by the National Institutes of Health violated the 1996 Dickey-Wicker law that prohibits taxpayer financing for work that harms an embryo. But the administration policy allows research on embryos that were culled long ago through private funding.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, chief of the federal court in Washington, last year said the lawsuit was likely to succeed and ordered a stop to the research while the case continued. But under swift protest from the Obama administration, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals here quickly overturned Lamberth’s injunction and said the case was likely to fail.

Lamberth said in his opinion Wednesday that he is bound by the higher court’s analysis and ruled in favor of the administration’s motion to dismiss the case.

“This Court, following the D.C. Circuit’s reasoning and conclusions, must find that defendants reasonably interpreted the Dickey-Wicker Amendment to permit funding for human embryonic stem cell research because such research is not `research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed,’ ” Lamberth wrote.

Researchers hope one day to use embryonic stem cells in ways that cure spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease and other ailments. Opponents of the research object because the cells were obtained from destroyed human embryos. Though current research is using cells culled long ago, opponents also fear research success would spur destruction of new embryos. Proponents say the research cells come mostly from extra embryos discarded anyway by fertility clinics.

Read more…

Advertisements

2 Comments to “Science Scores a Minor Victory Over Religion – Stem Cell Research Gets Funding”

  1. Geez, thank goodness. Now maybe we can get to work finding cures and vaccines so that people can live lives free of pain and suffering. Of course that was always a goal, but fools got in the way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: