Court Passes Order Preventing Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research

Court Passes Order Preventing Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research

Court Passes Order Preventing Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research

U.S. District Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth  issued a preliminary injunction on August 23rd to bar the Obama administration from giving federal funding to research involving human embryonic stem cells. He used the text of a 1996 law passed by Congress that is reported to prohibit federal funding for testing that involves the destruction of human embryos.

The civil lawsuit that led to this decision was lead by plantiffs Theresa Deisher and Dr. James L. Sherley. Dr. Sherley was a one time MIT researcher that protested the denial of his tenure request with claims of racism and a hunger strike. He is currently employed by the Boston Biomedical Research Institute, and is well known for writing letters to protest news stories he considers to support abortion.

Theresa Deisher founded AVM Biotechnology, a company dedicated to producing vaccines and other medical developments without using embryonic stem cells. The two’s main complaint within the lawsuit was that the amount of money awarded to embryonic stem cell research restricted the amount available for research using special stem cells collected from adults, which the two use in their research. These adult cells can be essentially rewound to any point in development using special techniques.

The US Justice Department has already announced it’s plans to appeal the decision to block funding. President Obama pushed the development and funding of stem cell research, and this decision is unlikely to stop the program from moving forward. Over 50 grant proposals, many of them working on cures or treatments for life ruining diseases like Alzheimer’s, were pulled when the injunction was passed. Nearly 75 million dollars in funding was also frozen. However, due to the availability of some private and non-federal government funding, not all programs were stopped completely.


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