Embroynic stem cell research often evokes heated emotions among religious people who feel this should not be legal. The National Institutes of Health describes embryonic stem cells as being derived from embryos as their name suggests.
The majority of embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos which develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro, in an in vitro fertilization clinic, and than they are donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors. Medscape has reported “US Judge Upholds Federal Embryonic Stem Cell Funds”. A U.S. judge has upheld the U.S. federal government’s rules which allow for the funding of human embryonic stem cell research. This ruling favors the Obama administration’s position on this issue.
It has been ruled by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth that the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines on such research are not in violation of federal law and a legal challenge to the funding was dismissed by Lamberth. Just about a year ago Lamberth had halted the funding of the research. However, this ruling was reversed by a U.S appeals court in April. The most recent decision by Lamberth was based primarily on the appeals court’s reasoning and conclusions.
It has been argued by many religious conservatives that human embryonic stem cell research is unacceptable because it destroys human embryos. President Barack Obama has however taken the position that there should be federal funding for research involving human embryonic stem cells due to hopes this research can lead to cures for many diseases. It has been reported by the National Institutes of Health that “diseases that might be treated by transplanting cells generated from human embryonic stem cells include Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, traumatic spinal cord injury, Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, heart disease, and vision and hearing loss”.
Lamberth’s ruling was against two researchers, Dr. James Sherley, a biological engineer at Boston Biomedical Research Institute, and Theresa Deisher, of Washington-based AVM Biotechnology, who had sued to block such stem cell research funding. Lamberth rejected their argument that the funding was in violation of federal law. Lamberth also rejected the argument that the government has behaved “arbitrarily and capriciously” in coming up with the guidelines.
Mandel News Service