Court rules embryonic stem cell research can continue
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington rules that human embryonic stem cell research may continue to receive funding from federal government.
The use of human embryonic cell stem in research has been controversial due to ethical concerns over destroying human embryos to attain the stem cells. Supporters hope to use stem cells to cure Parkinson’s disease or even cancer.
The three-judge appeal court panel upheld a lower court’s ruling, permitting federal funding of ESC research.
“Dickey-Wicker permits federal funding of research projects that utilize already-derived ESCs — which are not themselves embryos — because no ‘human embryo or embryos are destroyed’ in such projects,” Chief Judge David B. Sentelle, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying in the ruling.
According to federal law, ESC research may only use embryonic cells that are already destroyed, or those that will be discarded by fertility clinics.
Judge Janice Rogers Brown, however, was not satisfied with the outcome and requested the Congress to clarify the Dickey-Wicker amendment.
“Given the weighty interests at stake in this encounter between science and ethics, relying on an increasingly Delphic, decade-old single paragraph rider on an appropriations bill hardly seems adequate,” Judge Brown wrote, according to NBC News.
Proponents of ESC research welcomed the ruling.