Monday, August 23, 2010

Our own Dr James Sherley stops federal funding of embryonic stem cell research!

A U.S. district court issued a preliminary injunction today, stopping the federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research in the Obama administration's new guidelines.

The court ruled in favor of a suit filed by Dr. James L. Sherley, a former MIT professor and scientist, and other researchers who said human embryonic stem cell research involves the destruction of human embryos. They also made the very sensible argument that funds plowed into useless ESC research are depriving life-saving research and cures with adult stem cells.

Judge Royce Lamberth granted the injunction after finding that the lawsuit would likely succeed because the guidelines violated current law banning the use of federal funds to destroy human embryos.

The lawsuit says the guidelines violate the Dickey-Wicker appropriations provision regarding embryo research that prohibits federal funding of the creation of human embryos by any method, explicitly including human cloning, or any "research in which" human embryos are harmed in any way.

The National Institutes of health received 50,000 comments almost all of which were opposed to funding this research, and by its own admission, NIH totally ignored these comments.

Embryonic stem cell research has yet to help a single patient, unlike adult stem cell research -- which has helped patients with more than 100 diseases and medical conditions and which President Bush supported with hundreds of millions in federal funding.

The Obama administration could appeal the decision or try to rewrite the guidelines to comply with U.S. law. Since the judge implied they would not win on appeal, they might go to Congress. They will have to go before Nov 2nd while they still (may) have the votes!

You know, from meeting him and hearing him at many MCFL events, that James Sherley is a real hero. He didn't send those 50,000 emails in May of 2009, though. You and I and everyone we told sent them. When things seem uphill, please remember that and rejoice! Keep up the good work. Anne

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