Judge halts federal stem cell aid

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Yesterday, a federal district judge temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s 2009 executive order that created an opportunity for expanded embryonic stem cell research. According to an article in today's Boston Globe, the judge made his decision because “regulations designed to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research violated a law prohibiting destruction of embryos for research purposes.”

Beginning in March 2009, the Obama administration’s order allowed researchers to work with embryonic stem cells from donated embryos, with donor consent. Now, stem cell researchers that began work after the 2009 order must decide whether to abandon the new projects or find funding that does not involve federal dollars.

How do you think this ruling will affect stem cell research, and biomedical research as a whole? And, how can researchers and IRBs comply with this ruling without abandoning valuable progress in these studies?

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2 thoughts on “Judge halts federal stem cell aid

  1. Anonymous

    I'd sure like to see a session/patient panel on this issue at AER. I have contact with women and couples who donated their embryos to study their own genetic diseases so this latest ruling has sorely disappointed several patients.

  2. PRIM&R

    This is a great suggestion—and one that PRIM&R has been working on already. If you are attending the 2010 Advancing Ethical Research Conference and are interested in learning more about this issue consider attending session D9: Stem Cell Research Post Lamberth: Implications for Policy and Oversight. Other sessions in the Genetics, Stem Cells, and Repositories Track will likely touch on this issue as well. To learn more about the conference program please visit the PRIM&R website at http://www.primr.org/Conferences.aspx?id=7717. Thank you!