August 24, 2010

Judge Puts Hold On Stem Cell Funding

A U.S. District Court judge on Monday issued a temporary halt to an executive order enacted by President Obama that expands federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

Judge Royce Lamberth issued the temporary injunction on the grounds that stem cell research involved the destruction of human embryos. 

His decision in favor of a group that opposes stem cell research means the plaintiffs can move forward with a lawsuit before the court.

"ESC (embryonic stem cell) research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed," said Judge Lamberth.

"To conduct ESC research, ESCs must be derived from an embryo. The process of deriving ESCs from an embryo results in the destruction of the embryo. Thus ESC research necessarily depends upon the destruction of a human embryo."

President Obama had lifted in March a ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, citing the potential for promising medical treatments and a new era of science unhindered by political ideology.

The executive order reversed the ban enacted by President George W. Bush, which stem cell advocates say impeded the battle to develop new treatments for degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.


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