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Article posted on 08/24/10
Author: Robert S. Harper

Obama's Stem Cell Directive
Temporarily Blocked by Judge

Stem Cell Research is trending today because in Washington a federal judge temporarily blocked the rules that the Obama administration set up for expansion of the controversial medical research.

A not for profit organization the Nightlight Christian Adoptions maintains that the new guidelines will decrease the number of embryos available for implantation. The group provides adoption services to people in all 50 states.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth reversed a decision in the federal appeals court that he had earlier dismissed last October involving a suit with two research doctor plaintiffs. The doctors allege the competition for federal research funds as granted by the National Institutes of Health will injure their ability to continue.

Judge Lamberth concluded that the lawsuit now had a strong likelihood of success in arguing that the new guidelines which increased the number of stem cell lines that had been donated for research would in fact violate the intent of the federal law regarding embryo destruction. "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.

He also added a statement that may be taken in regard to the entire methodology, "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 decision drew support from a group of Christian attorneys, the Alliance Defense Fund. Steven H. Aden, the ADF's senior legal counsel supported Judge Lamberth, "The American people should not be forced to pay for experiments- prohibited by law- that destroy human life. The court is simply enforcing an existing law passed by Congress that prevents Americans from paying another penny for needless research on human embryos."

Critics of the ruling also spoke to the AP. Sean Tipton of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine said, "This injunction blocks important research on how to unlock the enormous potential of human embryonic stem cells. It will be incredibly distruptive and once again drive the best scientific minds into work less likely to yield treatments for conditions from diabetes to spinal cord injury."

According to the AP, calls to the Justice Department only revealed that the ruling was under review.

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