Ruling: Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research Can Continue

The lawsuit that sought to strike down federally funded human embryonic stem cell research was dismissed today.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth — the same judge whose ruling, which was quickly overturned, brought hESCR to a halt last August — ruled in favor of the government in the case of Sherley et al v. Sebelius.

The lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs James Sherley, MD, PhD, and Theresa Deisher, PhD, two scientists who claimed that the National Institutes of Health violated the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which bans funding for research that destroys embryos.

Wednesday’s opinion notes that the court has “become a grudging partner in a bout of linguistic jujitsu” over the definition of the word “research” as written in the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, but ultimately rules as follows:

Therefore this Court, following the D.C. Circuit’s reasoning and conclusions, must find that defendants reasonably interpreted the Dickey-Wicker Amendment to permit funding for human embryonic stem cell research because such research is not “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed…”

The Associated Press has the story.

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