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Judge Stops Federal Funding For Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Judge Stops Federal Funding For Embryonic Stem Cell Research

On Monday afternoon, U.S. district judge Royce C. Lamberth granted a preliminary injunction to stop federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, striking a disappointing blow to the Obama administration.  In his ruling, Lamberth wrote that all embryonic stem cell research involves destroying embryos, violating a piece of legislation called the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which in his words, “unambiguously prohibits the use of federal funds for all research in which a human embryo is destroyed.”

Stem cell research is controversial because it is mostly conducted on embryonic stem cell lines.  These are cultures of cells obtained by destroying the embryo after removing a stem cell.  The research often uses cells from fertility clinics, angering those who believe that these embryos constitute human life, and thus want such research to be declared inhumane. 

After the Dickey-Wicker Amendment was passed in 1996, the Clinton administration found a loophole in the law, claiming that if the embryos were destroyed by private researchers, federal funding for research on the stem cells was permissible.  The Bush administration narrowed the restrictions on which stem cells could be used, but in 2009, Obama issued an executive order lifting the Bush administration’s strict limits on stem cell research, saying that his administration would “make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”

This research has the potential to one day revolutionize the way that conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are treated.  But there has always been a fierce political battle in the way.  This injunction is temporary and will doubtless be appealed by the Obama administration; stay tuned for more detailed analysis tomorrow.

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Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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70 comments

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2:39PM PDT on Sep 16, 2010

Some of us beleive that a body is not ensouled until it breathes. I do not accept the theory that the soul is in an embryo. What about all the embryos we shed when we don't get pregnant. Are we flushing away souls? Also, for those of us who believe in reincarnation there is more than one life and the body is not the soul or the spirit or even the most important thing. So this argument denies our beliefs in a country based on religious freedom. Go figure. What are these same people doing to feed starving, brutalized kids who have parents who don't give a damn? And what are they doing to save the lives of the rest of God's creation? Is an embryo the only thing they give a damn about? And if all these embryos were brought to life who would care for them? Are they willing to step up? And if not, how on earth are we going to feed all these minions of human beings that they want to be born, come hell or high water? Those that are meant to be will be. Have faith, people. The universe has a special design and if you beleive in God, you know his will is done. I beleive it is moral and just to use whatever means possible to defeat the evils of material existance and the ravages it heaps on the bodies of struggling souls who are only trying to evolve and unite with their creator. Please stop this nonsense.

7:30PM PDT on Sep 5, 2010

I think it should be allowed but not federally funded. This could save many lives or enhance lives. If it could cure alzheimers for instance, it would be worth it. What if you got alzheimers? Wouldn't you want there to be a cure? Or would you prefer to turn into a vegetable, & be placed in a nursing home for the rest of your life?

12:08AM PDT on Aug 31, 2010

Leave embryos alone, adult stem cells can do the job just as well and is a more ethical usage. The embryo is still a human being with a soul and as such should be protected. To kill them is the same as child sacrifice.

8:47AM PDT on Aug 29, 2010

noted thanks

9:21PM PDT on Aug 27, 2010

geez. Embryos are only little thingies that haven't developed into anything yet. I understand the controversy over abortion (when the offspring actually starts to look like a baby), but objections to stem cell research is just ludicrous! Embryos are just like the cells we kill when we scratch ourselves.

2:25PM PDT on Aug 25, 2010

Nothing new, remember when the catholic church burned people at the stake for declaring the world was not flat?

1:13PM PDT on Aug 25, 2010

Yeah

1:12PM PDT on Aug 25, 2010

i think embryonic stem-cell should be aloud to continue for the sake of persons with life-chaging condions and thair families.

2:58AM PDT on Aug 25, 2010

The judge may be taking the right step for the wrong reason. There is no miracle cure out there. It is not waiting to be found in a stem cell. The toxicity of our lives is the culprit for these dis-eases. From the polluted air to the poisoned products, from the chemicals we ingest at every turn to the radiation/frequencies we expose ourselves to nearly constantly, the water, the food, the clothing, our mental states, our judgements and selfishness, our lack of forgiveness, gratitude and tolerance.... these are the things that make us sick. There will be no magic bullet to counteract all the evils we have set upon ourselves. We need to look at causes, not symptoms. And truthfully, with the world population what it is already, can anybody really think it is a good idea to go messing around with stem cells while trying to save millions of lives? The last thing all life on this planet needs is for the humans to think up more ways for millions upon millions more of us to keep on living. Maybe if we weren't dead set on destroying everything while we lived it would be different. Convenience and entertainment, and our casting aside of nearly everything else of consequence in deference to them, is what is killing us. You won't find the answer in a stem cell. We are our own problem yet, we are also the cure. We can change in our hearts, in our minds and in our actions and we can do it right now - no research necessary.

2:03AM PDT on Aug 25, 2010

The judge, Royce C. Lamberth, made the wrong decision. I am no longer surprised by the stupidity of judges; indeed, stupidity appears to be an essential prerequisite for being a judge.

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