Embryologist Files Brief in Appeal of Obama Embryonic Stem Cell Policy

Dec 06, 2010, 11:24 ET from Bioethics Defense Fund

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will hear oral arguments today addressing a ruling by the district court that the Obama administration's NIH Guidelines violate the Dickey-Wicker Amendment by authorizing taxpayer funding of stem cell research that necessarily destroys living human embryos.

Bioethics Defense Fund has filed an amicus brief on behalf of Dr. Maureen L. Condic, a research scientist and professor, presenting the D.C. Circuit with a cogent scientific white paper entitled, When Does Human Life Begin: A Scientific Perspective (Westchester Institute, 2008).  As explained by Dr. Condic:

"It is important for the Court to understand the scientific evidence presented in our amicus brief because it solidly addresses the common misperception that the question of when human life begins cannot be resolved.  This question has been entirely resolved by modern scientific investigation.  While the ethical and legal status of human beings at early stages of development remain as issues to be addressed by law and public policy, the public and the courts should be made aware that the scientific facts are unambiguous; based on universally accepted scientific criteria, human embryos are clearly human organisms, i.e., human beings, and not merely collections of cells."

BDF attorney Dorinda C. Bordlee says that Dr. Condic's amicus brief is foundational because "any credible policy regarding research on human beings at the embryonic stage of life must first address the serious ethical and legal regulations that Congress has already addressed regarding the funding of research that harms or destroys human subjects."  In particular, the amicus brief establishes that "the Dickey-Wicker Amendment's reference to certain 'human subject' protections is consistent with Congress' implicit recognition that a human embryo is a human being."  

Nikolas T. Nikas, BDF president and general counsel, stated, "This litigation is of critical importance because the Obama policy disregards the will of Congress based on the consciences of citizens who do not want their tax dollars used to support research that makes them complicit in the intentional destruction of human lives."  


Bioethics Defense Fund, www.BDFund.org, is a public-interest legal organization whose mission includes advocating for the protection of human life in science and medicine through litigation, legislation and public education.  

 Contact:  Dorinda C. Bordlee, Senior Counsel, Bioethics Defense Fund, 504-231-7234, dbordlee@bdfund.org

SOURCE Bioethics Defense Fund