Friday, September 10, 2010

Appeals court gets embryonic stem cell issue

Washington Post
September 10, 2010

Last month, Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an injunction barring the federal government from funding research on embryonic stem cells. The judge cited the Dickey-Wicker amendment, which puts off-limits federal dollars for work "in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero under" applicable federal regulations. The National Institutes of Health suspended funding for new embryonic stem cell projects and put in doubt the funding for those already underway.

On Thursday the D.C. federal appeals court lifted Judge Lamberth's order, allowing the government to fund embryonic stem cell research -- for now. The court, which made clear that its decision is preliminary until it has a chance to review the case thoroughly, should make the ruling permanent.