ESC Funding Ban, Misconstrues the Law
- “Plaintiffs argue that this court should ignore the clear intent of Congress,” the DOJ wrote in the filing.
The appeals court in September put on hold a lower court ruling that cut off funding for embryonic stem-cell research after theDOJ argued that it would harm researchers, taxpayers and scientific progress. The appellate court said the funding could continue during the appeal.
- Lifting the ban allowed the government to temporarily continue directing tens of millions of dollars to scientists seeking cures for diseases such as Parkinson’s, spinal cord injuries and genetic conditions. Embryonic stem cells can grow into any kind of tissue. Adult stem cells, found in mature tissue, are more limited in their ability to differentiate into other cell types.
A group of scientists who oppose the funding filed papers 10/28/10 claim it is illegal and should be barred.
- The opponents, researchers who work with adult stem cells, are “suffering irreparable harm from the illegal competition” and permanent loss of federal funds, according to a brief they filed;
- In their filing, the opponents cited the still-in-force 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment, saying that Congress prohibited funding any research in which a human embryo was destroyed. By implication, that included all embryonic stem-cell research, they argued.
The appeals court scheduled arguments on the dispute for 12/6/10 for case, Sherley v. Sebelius, 10-5287, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (Washington). (HWM and W McQuillen, Bloomberg)