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Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in Ethics, Legal, Legislation

They’re Baaack: Plaintiffs Continue to Seek Injunction Against Federally Funded Stem-Cell Research

They’re Baaack: Plaintiffs Continue to Seek Injunction Against Federally Funded Stem-Cell Research

hESCs.jpgSherley et al v Sebelius et al. The case that won’t go away…to the chagrin of scientists who rely on government funding for research with human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).

The Nature News Blog reports today that scientists James Sherley and Theresa Deisher, who choose to work with adult stem cells, are appealing Judge Royce Lamberth’s reluctant decision in July to shoot down a permanent injunction against federal funding for hESC research. The scientists submitted their legal brief yesterday to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The appeals court, which ruled against Sherley et al last April (with respect to their request for a preliminary injunction), will hear oral arguments on April 23rd in this new appeal to overturn Lamberth’s ruling against a permanent injunction.

But a similar decision granting federal funds for hESC research by the appeals court is not a given. The randomly selected, 3-judge panel for the April hearing will be somewhat different than the one that ruled last year, the Nature News Blog reveals. The judges for the upcoming appeals hearing will be Republican appointees Chief Judge David Sentelle, Judge Janice Rogers Brown, and Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson. The lone, common panel member is Henderson, who dissented in the previous appeals hearing by calling the government’s favorable interpretation of existing law (ie, the highly ambiguous Dickey-Wicker amendment) “linguistic jujitsu.”

Image of undifferentiated hESCs from http://www.nih.gov/catalyst/2007/07.01.01/page1.html. 

bmartin (1130 Posts)

A native East Tennessean, Barbara Martin is a formerly practicing, board-certified neurologist who received her BS (psychology, summa cum laude) and MD from Duke University before completing her postgraduate training (internship, residency, fellowship) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has worked in academia, private practice, medical publishing, drug market research, and continuing medical education (CME). For the last 3 years, she has worked in a freelance capacity as a medical writer, analyst, and consultant. Follow Dr. Barbara Martin on and Twitter.