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Stem cell research gets reprieve from ban

Jenny Decker RN's picture

A huge sigh of relief for supporters of stem cell research and researchers alike, the ban on funding has been temporarily stayed while the court reviews a federal judge’s order to stop funding for embryonic stem cell research that included the destruction of human embryos. U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled late in August this year that this research violated the Dickey-Smith Amendment. Opponents are gearing up for a battle.

Adding fuel to the battle on embryonic stem cell research, the reprieve may only be temporary and opponents must file a response by September 14. The government, who has been working to get a stay on the ban, has until the 20th to file a response. Meanwhile, funding for research can continue while scientists work to find where the money is coming from in case the finding does ban funding from further research.

Current ruling does not take stand on research funding.

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The court made it clear that the ruling was in no way taking a standing on the research funding. It was meant only for the court to be able to get a good hold on what the problem was, get the information, and then make a decision at a later date.

In a lawsuit filed against the National Institutes of Health, two researchers have proposed an alternative to using embryonic stem cells, showing that there are more ways to be found for developing treatments and possible cures and thus giving a possible solution to the debate of the use of embryonic stem cells. Judge Lamberth found that this lawsuit had merit and it should proceed, ruling on the initial ban.

The ban on the funding was only for the stem cell destruction as part of the research or to dispose of. Other types of research that are not involved with injury or destruction to the embryos is named under the ban. The judge made it clear that ban on federal funding for ESC had nothing to do with financing the destruction, but everything to do with preserving all life at all stages.