WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - In a significant opinion issued by Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia human embryonic life was given a stay of execution on Monday, August 23, 2010. The Federal Court enjoined the implementation of the Obama Administration guidelines which would have allowed researchers to extract stem cells from "surplus" embryos donated by patients at fertility clinics. This "extraction" amounts to an execution of human embryonic life. These guidelines went into effect in July, 2009.
The case, Dr. James L Sherley et al. v Kathleen Sebelius et al., was filed by Doctors James J Sherley and Theresa Deisher, Nightlife Christian Adoption, Embryos, Shayne and Tina Nelson, William and Patricia Flynn and the Christian Medical Association. At this stage of the proceeding the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the implementation of the Administrations' guidelines. The issuance of an injunction is an extraordinary legal remedy and the party seeking it has a very high burden of proof. The Plaintiffs prevailed. The Federal Judge wrote a long opinion for an injunction. It is filled with solid legal and medical analysis which should be used by everyone seeking to defend human embryonic lives from destruction.
The Federal Court found that the new guidelines issued by the Obama Administration violate the Dickey-Wicker Amendment which provides that no Federal funds shall be used for "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed on fetuses in utero" under Federal Law. The Obama administration argued a specious statutory interpretation which strained credulity. The Court did not accept it and properly interpreted the law based upon its clear language.
In the Courts own words "having concluded that the Dickey-Wicker Amendment is unambiguous, the question before the Court is whether ESC (Embryonic Stem Cell Research) is research in which a human embryo is destroyed. The Court concludes that it is." In another section of the opinion the judge made it even clearer: " The Dickey-Wicker Amendment unambiguously prohibits the use of federal funds for all research in which a human embryo is destroyed.
"Thus, if ESC research is research in which an embryo is destroyed, the Guidelines, by funding ESC research, violate the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. ESC research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed. To conduct ESC research, ESCs must be derived from an embryo. The process of deriving ESCs from an embryo results in the destruction of the embryo. Thus, ESC research necessarily depends upon the destruction of a human embryo"
The efforts of this administration to use human embryonic life for deadly experimentation, in spite of the medical science which has proven that Adult Stem Cell Research, (which never injures or kills) is far more promising, is not only bad science but it is also morally reprehensible. On Monday, March 9, 2009, President Barrack Obama turned a whole class of human persons into commodities to be used by issuing an Executive Order. The NIH Guidelines which followed treat human embryos as property, capable of being "manufactured" and used as spare parts in experimentation which has produced no discernible scientific results and always kills the human embryonic person.
Every "extraction" of embryonic stem cells kills a living human embryonic person. This is not simply a "religious" position, it is medical science and the Judge in this opinion acknowledged these scientific facts. This opinion provides a resource for our work in the great human rights struggle of our age, restoring the legal recognition of the fundamental human right to life for all persons from conception to natural death.
This Federal Court opinion offers an opportunity to again speak the truth into a culture which has been lied to. The insistence upon a framework for evaluating biomedicine which always respects human life is revealed in the Natural Law, we all know it is wrong to kill our neighbor and the child in the womb is our neighbor. It is also confirmed by medical science which proves that the human embryonic person is always killed in embryonic stem cell research. Now we have a well written Federal Court opinion which provides helpful assistance in our important work of exposing the culture of death and proposing in its place a new culture of life and civilization of love.