There has been controversy related to funding of stem cell research. Researchers are positive about the stem cell research as it offers avenues for medical advancement because of their ability to grow into almost any kind of cell. For instance, neural cells in the brain and spinal cord which have been damaged or cells destroyed by radiation or chemotherapy during the treatment of cancer can be replaced by stem cells. In fact any dead cells, no matter the type of injury or disease, can be replaced with new healthy cells. However, those who value human life oppose embryonic stem cell research because the extraction of stem cells requires destruction of an embryo. In other words, the research is based on the killing of human life. Against this, embryonic research advocates argue that the tiny blastocyst (embryo) has no human features.
In August, federal judge Royce Lamberth had ordered to stop federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, a “preliminary injunction” finding. He found that funding research involves cells grown from a destroyed embryo’s cells which is against the law, an interpretation different from Clinton, Bush and Obama administration views.
On Thursday September 09, 2010, three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted a request from the Justice Department to lift a temporary injunction issued Aug. 23 blocking the funding, saying the court needed more time to consider the case. But the court made it clear...
that they were not making a final decision.
“The purpose of this administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the merits of the emergency motion for stay and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that motion,” the appeals court wrote in its one-page decision.
The lifting of temporary injunction provided a significant boost to supporters of embryonic stem cell research, including the Obama administration. Harvard’s Doug Melton, a prominent human embryonic stem cell researcher, released the following statement late Thursday afternoon:
“This is terrific news. I realize that this is a temporary order, but I am hopeful that the Court of Appeals understands the enormous potential this research holds, it’s promise for millions of patients, and will allow regular funding of the work to resume.”
As of now, opponents of stem cell funding have until Sept. 14 to file a response, and the government must submit its response by Sept. 20.