Court reinstates lawsuit challenging NIH embryonic stem cell guidelines
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled on Friday that doctors performing adult stem cell research have 'competitive standing' to sue. The court therefore reinstated a federal lawsuit seeking to prohibit and overturn controversial guidelines for public funding of embryonic stem cell research.

The guidelines, released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in July 2009, listed regulations for embryonic stem cell research including the requirement for informed consent and prohibition of reimbursement for embryo donation.

In March 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order stating an Administration policy to fund ethically "responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research...to the extent permitted by law." 

The lawsuit challenging the president's executive order was filed by a former MIT faculty member, a research and development director for AVM Biotechnology, Nightlight Christian Adoptions on its own behalf as well as "next friend for plaintiff embryos" and the Christian Medical Association.

The broad coalition of plaintiffs argues that the NIH guidelines which claim to implement the President's order are both illegal and unethical. “Since 1994,” a statement from the group notes, “Congress has expressly banned NIH from funding research in which human embryos 'are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death'."

The lawsuit states, “These Guidelines authorize public funding of research that depends on and, indeed, requires the destruction of living human embryos. As a result, these Guidelines violate the Federal Funding Ban, and are therefore invalid.”

The plaintiffs also argue that the guidelines were created without following the procedures required by law. They assert that NIH issued its guidelines with “an unalterably closed mind, having prejudged the relevant issues.” Moreover, they assert, NIH did not consider the “ethically and medically superior alternatives” of adult and induced pluripotent stem cell research.

Expert stem cell researcher and plaintiff Dr. James L. Sherley explained that "the great irony of the guidelines is that research involving stem cells safely derived from human adults and other sources presents the same if not greater potential for medical breakthroughs, without any of the troubling legal and ethical issues related to embryonic stem-cell research."

While adult stem cells have successfully been used to treat more than 70 different diseases and conditions, embryonic stem cells have never yielded a single successful treatment.

“No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life is worthless,” said Steven H. Aden of the Alliance Defense Fund, also co-counsel for the plaintiffs. 

“Although private-sector funding of embryonic stem cell research has been practically unlimited, it has failed to produce results,” he said. “Furthermore, experimentation on embryonic stem cells isn’t even necessary because adult stem cell research has been enormously successful. In these difficult economic times, why should the federal government use precious taxpayer dollars for this illegal and unethical purpose?”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 26, 2015

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30