Contact: Dorinda C. Bordlee, Senior Counsel, Bioethics Defense Fund, 504-231-7234, firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will hear oral arguments Monday, December 6, 2010, addressing the ruling by the lower court that the Obama administration’s NIH Guidelines violate federal law because they authorize taxpayer funding of stem cell research that necessarily destroys living human embryos, in violation of the Dickey-Wicker Amendment.
On November 1, 2010, Bioethics Defense Fund filed an amicus brief on behalf of Dr. Maureen L. Condic, a research scientist and embryology 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 moral 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 the brief on behalf of Dr. Condic 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 enacted regarding research that harms or destroys human subjects.” Bordlee explained in the amicus brief that “the Obama administration has never even raised, much less engaged the central moral question posed by embryonic stem cell research, namely, the moral status of the human embryo used and destroyed in this context.”
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.”
- The BDF amicus brief on behalf of Dr. Maureen Condic in the case of Sherley v. Sebelius can be reviewed at www.bdfund.org/pdf/condicbrief.pdf
- A full copy of Dr. Condic’s white paper, When Does Human Life Begin: A Scientific Perspective (2008) can be reviewed at http://www.westchesterinstitute.net/images/wi_whitepaper_life_print.pdf
Read more about the district court decision that enjoined the Obama policy here.
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.