In the wake of Monday’s court ruling against federal funding for embryonic stem cell research I’ve been reading story after story about researchers across the country complaining about how this decision negatively impacts the progression of ESCR. From these stories you would think that the judge actually banned ESCR completely. Apparently, the entire future of ESCR depends on the American taxpayers footing the bill. An example from one story:
The court decision, if upheld, Dr. Studer said, could mean difficult choices for researchers: Either find private funding, leave the United States or delay their studies in hopes that a different kind of stem cell can be found that will work equally well.
Oh no! How terrible! Finding private investors whom you know actually agree with your barbaric experimentation and are willing to give you money for it instead of forcing taxpayers, many of whom have serious moral and ethical objections to the cannibalizing of tiny human beings, to fund it?? Not fair!
Please. Pardon me if I do not weep on your behalf. Really, the last thing our already overstretched government needs to be doing is spending money it does not have on research which, on top of being ethically reprehensible, has also proven to be woefully ineffective and, thankfully, unnecessary – a big reason why ESC researchers aren’t receiving sustainable funds from private investors and now lobby heavily for federal and state $.
I finally read through the actual ruling today and, I have to say, I am even more impressed with Judge Lamberth (a Reagan appointee) than I was when I first heard about his decision on Monday. Not only did he determine that the Dickey Amendment prohibits the Government from funding any stage of research that requires the destruction of a human embryo, but, in response to complaints that not allowing this funding would hurt ESC researchers and sick, suffering individuals, he said:
The injunction, however, would not seriously harm ESC researchers because the injunction would simply preserve the status quo and would not interfere with their ability to obtain private funding for their research. In addition, the harm to individuals who suffer from diseases that one day may be treatable as a result of ESC research is speculative. It is not certain whether ESC research will result in new and successful treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Awesome! This guy has some serious common sense as well as a clear understanding of the law. I like!
This isn’t over yet, of course. The Obama Administration is planning to appeal the decision. And, as I said on Monday, look for some members of Congress to try to kill Dickey when it’s up for renewal at the end of this fiscal year or possibly get serious about trying to pass the “Stem Cell Research Advancement Act of 2009” or some form of it, redefining cloning and effectively allowing the government to fund the creation and use of cloned human embryos for scientific research.