Federal judge blocks expansion of embryonic stem cell research

Look for this to have repercussions in Georgia. Support for embryonic stem cell research is one of the key policy differences between Democrat Roy Barnes and Republican Nathan Deal in the race for governor:

Washington — A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked Obama administration regulations expanding stem cell research.

The nonprofit group Nightlight Christian Adoptions contends that the government’s new guidelines will decrease the number of human embryos available for adoption.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that the plaintiffs are entitled to bring their lawsuit in the courts.

A federal appeals court had ruled that two doctors who were among those bringing the lawsuit, adult stem cell researchers James Sherley of the Boston Biomedical Research Institute and Theresa Deisher of AVM Biotechnlogy, had the authority to do so, prompting Lamberth to reverse a decision he made last October.

Lamberth said that the injury of increased competition that Sherley and Deisher would face because of the guidelines “is not speculative. It is actual and imminent. Indeed, the guidelines threaten the very livelihood of plaintiffs Sherley and Deisher.”

Nightlight helps individuals adopt human embryos that are being stored in fertilization clinics. It began the program in 1997, using some of more than 400,000 frozen embryos.

Lamberth concluded that those filing the lawsuit have demonstrated a strong likelihood of success in arguing that the new government guidelines violate a law that prohibits the use of federal funds for research in which human embryos are destroyed.

It is in the public interest to block the government from implementing the guidelines because they allow federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, which involves the destruction of embryos, the judge said.

Stem cell research has the potential to produce breakthroughs in treating life-threatening diseases that have resisted traditional treatment.

“As demonstrated by the plain language of the statute, the unambiguous intent of Congress is to prohibit the expenditure of federal funds on ‘research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed,’” Lamberth wrote.

“The question before the court is whether ESC research is research in which a human embryo is destroyed. The court concludes that it is,” the judge added.

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20 comments Add your comment


August 23rd, 2010
6:43 pm

Is this judge a Bush appointee? In any case, he is another in the many obstacles placed in the path of medical progress in the U.S. Fortunately, scientific research casn proceed in other countries without such antiquated(read conservative) limitations.


August 23rd, 2010
6:56 pm

Despite our enlightened president, the Bush appointees and their ilk will insure that the U.S. will become a third world backwater. The rest of the world is leaping ahead. The conservative legacy is a legacy of religious domination of the social order. Just like the Taliban–and just what our founding fathers feared; it has come to pass.

No Teabagging

August 23rd, 2010
7:01 pm

Adopting ‘frozen embryos’ That is just creepy.


August 23rd, 2010
7:35 pm

Blaming this on Bush??? Damn you Demorats are true idiots.


August 23rd, 2010
7:55 pm

Well, MiltonMan, welcome to to the 18th century.


August 23rd, 2010
9:51 pm

durn librul actavest juges!


August 23rd, 2010
10:38 pm

Sorry, Parkinson’s…it’ll take us a few more years to cure you. We could’ve been there by now, but there are so many blastocysts that need to be adopted by loving parents.


August 23rd, 2010
11:17 pm

Where are the right wingers bewailing judges who ignore the will of the people?


August 24th, 2010
3:54 am

If you think this sounds creepy, you should see this outfit’s web page. They call their interesting project Snowflakes. It includes a letter from, um, the frozen embryos. Seeing this letter is going to cause flashbacks the next time I see a weird looking keyboard at Micro Center. There’s also a link to a video on the subject. No, I couldn’t find the strength to click it.

Not to get all traditional but, according to their numbers, there are a total of 225 children who are the result of frozen embryo adoptions over the 14 years they’ve been doing this. This means if all fertilized egg donations stopped today they would still have a 30,000 year supply. Convincing a judge that this poses an imminent threat to their livelihood is just another example of why you shouldn’t let price dictate your selection of an attorney.


August 24th, 2010
4:25 am

This is silly, what about the hundreds of aborted fetuses that are produced every day and just wasted. If one aborted fetus could save 10 or who knows how many more lives, what is the problem?


August 24th, 2010
8:15 am

No, this judge was not a Bush appointee. He was appointed by Reagan.

Herby Beggs

August 24th, 2010
8:21 am

Any way you look at it, the destruction of an embryo or unborn child is murder. These are people that could be paying taxes and working if we’d not allowed them to have been killed by abortion or in these seemingly good research efforts. The means that we accomplish successful medical research is life and death in this case.

Jayne M. Barker

August 24th, 2010
8:30 am

Individuals with spinal injuries, diabetes, and Parkinson’s are all important too. Infertility research is on the front line. I am not
a medical professional but I would like to see this research in a
Win/Win mode for all who need it.


August 24th, 2010
8:32 am

“Any way you look at it, the destruction of an embryo or unborn child is murder.”

Allow me to ask a few questions Herby;

Is it murder because the eggs in the dish already have sperm inside of them?

Would it be murder to throw away sperm?

Would it be murder to throw away eggs?

What if there was both sperm and eggs in the dish, however, at this point the sperm hasn’t fertilized the egg?

What if the sperm is just half way inside the egg when it was frozen?

1/3 of the way?


August 24th, 2010
8:39 am

Holy cow—these are clumps of cells sitting in a freezer. Nothing else. Most will be thrown away, unless we pass legislation to forcibly implant them into a woman’s uterus. I’m sure that’s next up on the Republican agenda.


August 24th, 2010
8:46 am

If Human Cloning was perfected and a human could be formed from any group of human cells, would it be murder to clip your toenails?

Buck Mulligan

August 24th, 2010
8:57 am

Now they’ll have to go back to flushing the embryos down the toilet again. That sounds productive to me! These blobs of protoplasm are left over from fertilization clinics and will be “destroyed” in any event, literally by flushing them. It the anti choice folks had the courage of their convictions, they’d go after the clinics.


August 24th, 2010
11:56 am

Aquagirl: YOU’RE DANG RIGHT!! You are FIRST IN LINE for the procedure to make you A MOTHER!!1!1

I can just tell that you are one of those left wing radical LESBIANS that just haven’t met the right man yet.

If you are ATTRACTIVE – PETITE BLONDE WHITE WOMAN UNDER 120 LBS – I’d be willing to show you what a REAL MAN can do for YOU!!!1!!!11!

And also, I’ll pay for your SALAD.


Pappa Grizzly

August 24th, 2010
3:08 pm

We don’t want no durn scientifical advances here. Unless its in the bible, it ain’t raight. let them scientisists go to asia or europe or somewheres. We don’t need em.


August 24th, 2010
4:36 pm

I’m with US court! I think this should’ve been done before. I’m also against those who say “boy or girl? you choose”, you know what they do? if parents want girls they kill the boys before they’re born. and if parents want boys then they kill girls before their birth. This is absolute crime. I don’t know how people openly practice this horrendous crime and no-one stops them.