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Court halts president’s stem cell expansion

Posted by on Aug. 24, 2010 at 3:21 AM
  • 8 Replies

A federal judge in Washington yesterday temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s efforts to expand stem cell research, ruling in a case brought by a former MIT scientist and others who oppose embryonic stem cell research.

Royce C. Lamberth, chief judge of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, said in his 15-page decision that regulations designed to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research violated a law prohibiting destruction of embryos for research purposes.

Additionally, the judge ruled that former MIT researcher Dr. James L. Sherley and other scientists who study less controversial adult stem cells would face “actual, imminent injury’’ because of the competition for federal dollars that would be stoked by expansion of research into embryonic stem cells.

The immediate implications of the preliminary injunction were unclear last night, said Kevin Casey, Harvard University’s associate vice president for governmental relations. Harvard has been a recipient of federal grants under the new regulations, and it was uncertain whether the judge’s decision would affect funds already awarded to scientists or only future funding, he said.

The university, Casey said, was “disappointed at this preliminary halting of this research, as it will slow progress that so many who suffer afflictions are relying on.’’ But, he added, the university remained optimistic that the courts will ultimately validate the use of federal money for expanded embryonic stem cell research.

Dr. Leonard Zon, director of the stem cell program at Children’s Hospital Boston, called yesterday’s ruling a “step backward.’’

“It throws things into a confused state,’’ he said.

The hospital receives federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. It also gets philanthropic grants that can be used for research not supported by the government.

Sherley did not respond to calls for comment, but one of his attorneys said he would not be commenting because of the ongoing litigation.

Sherley, now a senior scientist with Boston Biomedical Research Institute, made headlines in 2007 when he held a 12-day hunger strike protesting MIT’s decision to deny him tenure and accusing administrators of racism. Sherley, who is black and a proponent of controversial theories about stem cells, said at the time that he had not been given the freedom to challenge scientific orthodoxy that white professors are given.

“This is the case of an uppity Negro, and there is a group of faculty who would like to see me move on,’’ Sherley, the only black professor among what was then 40 members of the biological engineering department said at the time.

Sherley and his research team at Boston Biomedical are studying adult stem cells that are involved in cancer initiation and contribute to aging, according to the lawsuit.

The other scientist who remains party to the lawsuit is Theresa Deisher of AVM Biotechnology, with headquarters in Seattle. The original suit included other plaintiffs, but the court had earlier found that they did not have legal standing to proceed.Continued...

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2010/08/24/court_halts_presidents_stem_cell_expansion/


What are your thoughts about this?

by on Aug. 24, 2010 at 3:21 AM
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Replies (1-8):
samthecat001
by Bronze Member on Aug. 24, 2010 at 3:26 AM

its interesting to me... that those precious uterus-less embryos are MORE precious than the living human beings - mother and father and children- who could be saved by using them.
i understand the issue is about FEDERAL FUNDING... but... its a religious based issue thats blocking it (the whole life at conception/god thing)...and that i disagree with.

mamak57
by Gold Member on Aug. 24, 2010 at 3:27 AM

 I support stem cell research and think the court is wrong to halt waht will happen in this century.

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Aug. 24, 2010 at 8:24 AM

badMany embrio's are destroyed when the parenst decide they have enough kids and they have extra frozen "babies" they can CHOOSE TO DESTROY THEM

Della529
by on Aug. 24, 2010 at 8:58 AM

I'm torn on this subject.  I don't believe embryos should be created for SCR, but at the same time I believe those that are past their viable storage life in in-vitro clinics should be allowed for research instead of simply destroying and throwing them away.  It is estimated that there were up to 400,000 of these available in 2003.

trippyhippy
by Platinum Member on Aug. 24, 2010 at 9:56 AM

I think this is a horrible decision.

SamanthaAgain
by Sam on Aug. 24, 2010 at 10:56 AM

I agree.

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

badMany embrio's are destroyed when the parenst decide they have enough kids and they have extra frozen "babies" they can CHOOSE TO DESTROY THEM


Follow me to learn about Cloth Diapering and why I choose to give my son choice.



cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Aug. 24, 2010 at 11:16 AM


Quoting samthecat001:

its interesting to me... that those precious uterus-less embryos are MORE precious than the living human beings - mother and father and children- who could be saved by using them.
i understand the issue is about FEDERAL FUNDING... but... its a religious based issue thats blocking it (the whole life at conception/god thing)...and that i disagree with.


I agree, and I'm a Christian.

What I find disgusting is that you don't hear Christian groups up in arms about IVF practices, which literally destroys viable eggs because they aren't needed. Isn't that technically a life under their definition?

samthecat001
by Bronze Member on Aug. 24, 2010 at 12:37 PM


Quoting cjsbmom:

 

Quoting samthecat001:

its interesting to me... that those precious uterus-less embryos are MORE precious than the living human beings - mother and father and children- who could be saved by using them.
i understand the issue is about FEDERAL FUNDING... but... its a religious based issue thats blocking it (the whole life at conception/god thing)...and that i disagree with.


I agree, and I'm a Christian.

What I find disgusting is that you don't hear Christian groups up in arms about IVF practices, which literally destroys viable eggs because they aren't needed. Isn't that technically a life under their definition?

i agree! i always bring that up in abortion debates.
IVF artificaially creates life..then destroys it... where is the outrage about that.
(im am passiontely pro-choice for the record)


 



 




 




  

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