Courts Overturn Obama Executive Order For Embryonic Stem Cell Research
The controversial executive order issued by President Obama’s administration last year on funding for embryonic stem cell research has been halted by the courts.
President Obama oversaw the reversal of a decree by the previous Bush administration that limited funding for embryonic stem cell research. While causing negative outcries from religious and minority groups, it was accepted with great accolades from the science and medical research sectors.
This hotly contested issue has been brought to the forefront of the news once again. A federal judge in Washington has issued an order effectively halting the newly reversed medical funding decision.
The order seeks to bar the U.S. Health & Human Services Department and the National Institutes for Health from continuing studies into embryonic stem cell research. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in Washington made the ruling on the controversial order.
In a 15 page decision the judge cited the 1996 Dickey Wicker Amendment, which strictly forbids the destruction of an embryo where the said research is carried out under federal funding.
This rather old and ambiguous law has been carried forward with each annual HHS appropriations bill since its inception.
The ruling was the culmination of a law suit brought forward by doctors involved in adult stem cell research. The doctors argued that they were being compelled to compete with embryonic cell researchers for federal funding and it was causing irreparable harm to their own research.
The doctors successfully argued that the National Institute of Heath’s guidelines breached the Dickey-Wicker strictures.
The judge went on to say that this new injunction would not seriously harm embryonic studies but rather help preserve the combined research capabilities of both sectors as a whole and does not interfere with any ability to obtain private funding.
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