Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lawsuit against embryonic stem cell research dismissed

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that would stop taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. The issue was over how to interpret the language in the Dickey-Wicker law that forbids using federal funds to destroy human embryos. The Obama Administration argued that research on embryos that were already destroyed could be funded with tax dollars.
The lawsuit claimed that research funded by the National Institutes of Health violated the 1996 Dickey-Wicker law that prohibits taxpayer financing for work that harms an embryo. But the administration policy allows research on embryos that were culled long ago through private funding.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, chief of the federal court in Washington, last year said the lawsuit was likely to succeed and ordered a stop to the research while the case continued. But under swift protest from the Obama administration, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals here quickly overturned Lamberth's injunction and said the case was likely to fail.

Lamberth said in his opinion Wednesday that he is bound by the higher court's analysis and ruled in favor of the administration's motion to dismiss the case.