Lawsuit opposing stem cell research dismissed

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 28, 2011

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The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit filed on behalf of frozen human embryos that sought to stop federal funding for stem cell research.

The plaintiffs, which included adoptive parents who advocate for leftover embryos from fertility treatments to be donated for adoption, claimed such research hurts embryos and reduces the number available for adoption. In its Jan. 21 ruling, the appeals court said the parents could not prove that all frozen embryos in the U.S. would be harmed by the research and did not have valid standing to sue.

The judges noted that the opinion does not express views on any pending cases related to stem cell research.

The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia has yet to rule on another case against the government seeking to halt funding for stem cell research. In that case, a panel of appellate judges in September 2010 temporarily lifted a district judge's ban forcing the National Institutes of Health to suspend grants for the research. The panel said lifting the ban does not mean it supports or opposes either side. The court is expected to rule on the case this year.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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