United States District Court Judge Royce Lamberth has issued an order that is a serious blow to those of us who have advocated the expanded federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Lamberth issued a preliminary injunction to stop all such funding under the new Obama policy.
The issuance of such a preliminary injunction is significant since the underlying standard requires the court to have a likelihood of ultimately prevailing on the merits. Lamberth found that the policy presumptively violated federal law banning the use of federal funds to destroy human embryos since “(Embryonic stem cell) research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed.”
President Bill Clinton signed a law that prohibited the destruction of human stem cells. Lamberth rejected the distinction of the Administration between work that leads to the destruction of embryos and the financing of work using stem cells created through embryonic destruction: “If one step or ‘piece of research’ of an E.S.C. research project results in the destruction of an embryo, the entire project is precluded from receiving federal funding.”
Various Christian groups supported the lawsuit against the National Institute of Health.
The most direct response to this ruling would be to reconsider the existing law to allow for this needed research to move forward. I have written previously on the dire need for such research (here and here).
Source: New York Times