Controversy discussions over the embryonic stem cell research injunction
Sam Morrison, director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology at the University of Michigan says that if the ruling will be on for a long time it will do irreparable harm to the field. The judge ruled a few days ago in favor of the two Christian which argued that federally funded research involving embryonic stem cells is against the law, as the 1995 Dickey Wicker amendment says. The amendment says that any research in which a human embryo is “destroyed, discarded or knowingly subject of risk of injury or death” is against the law. The case was brought against the expanded use of embryonic stem cells approved by the Obama administration, but the experts say that the ruling is so broad that it could be interpreted to refer even to those research projects that would have been permitted under the Bush administration.
Ron Stoddart, executive director of Nightlight Christian Adoptions, one of the agencies that started the lawsuit, declares that it was not intended to stop all the government funded embryonic stem cell studies, but was only aimed at the research that encourages future and continued destruction of human embryos for scientific purposes. He says that the 2009 executive order issued by the Obama administration suggests that if private funding was used to create and destroy embryos, federal funding could be used for the research but the two of them can not be separated. The scientists from the field fear that the ruling can be given an interpretation that will stop all federal funding of any embryonic stem research and plan to make an appeal. Scientists are waiting the Justice Department’s interpretation of the ruling which could close all National Institute of Health labs dealing with embryonic stem cells. Even if it is not ever interpreted, the ruling might put an end to ongoing research which costs time, resources, and government funding. Morrison says that the judge is wrong thinking that his ruling would not harm embryonic stem cell researchers and it does greater harm to the human embryonic stem cell researchers than any policy ever enacted.
This ruling will probably interfere not only with all federally funded research involving embryonic stem cells, but also with private funded labs and projects and will stop research all over the country. The private funding labs will be affected in their collaboration with the federally funded research groups. Michael West, CEO of Embryonic Sciences, Inc. and adjunct professor of bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley says that medical research should not be the subject of political games as it seems to be, especially if the purpose of the research is to ease pain and treat people. Even if the ruling will not be overturned, new technology allows obtaining embryonic stem cells without destroying the fetus, and there are about 3,000 children alive that have had stem cells removed in vitro in order to be tested for certain genetic diseases. Another technology is able to create adult stem cells that behave like embryonic stem cells, and their use avoids the injunction. The Bush administration allowed for federally funded research involving embryonic stem cell research and sanctioned only certain procedures that supported the future destruction of embryos during the process.
In March of 2009, President Obama put an and to the limitations and allowed the National Institute of Health to decide how to deal with the human stem cell research. The National Institute of Health decided to use embryos created for reproductive purposes and who were no longer needed, so they were donated for scientific purposes. Under these guidelines, the projects which were federally funded could get stem cells from private institutions that use donated embryos resulted from in vitro fertilization to produce stem cells for research. Scientists say that Obama’s order is not that different from Bush’s .11