Court Rules that NIH may Continue to Fund Stem Cell Research

A three judge panel of the US Court of Appeals in Washington ruled today that President Obama, in his March 9, 2009 Executive Order and subsequent guidance issued by NIH, correctly interpreted the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which bars use of federal funds to support research “in which human embryos are created, destroyed, discarded, or knowingly be subjected to risk of injury or death greater than allowed for research on fetuses in utero…”. Since July 7, 2009, and after significant public input on the matter, NIH published new rules that allowed funding of research using human embryonic stem cell lines but maintaining the ban on use of federal funds in the development of such cell lines.

Maggie Fox on NBC News said of today’s court action, “The ruling is unlikely to put the issue to rest and one of the judges pleaded for Congress to make clear what the government should and should not be able to do.”

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