Supreme Court Denies Challenge to Stem Cell Research

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a challenge (Sherley v. Sebelius) — to a lower court ruling that allows limited stem cell research to move forward — made by scientists James Sherley and Theresa Deishner. The two had argued that Congressional actions have forbidden such research, even on existing cell lines of embryonic tissue. However, the Obama Administration has authorized research utilizing existing cell lines developed from embryonic tissue in in vitro fertilization, taking the view that it does not involve the new destruction of embryos. In their petition to the Supreme Court, Sherley and Deishner claim that the government failed to address comments on the legality of such research during its implementation of President Obama’s Executive Order, thus rendering the resultant guidelines illegal. The Supreme Court denied the challenge without comment.

Statement by NIH Director Francis Collins

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