Stem Cell Case Has 'Immediate and Devastating' Impact, Says Research Group

A broad research coalition has formally weighed in on the stem cell case, urging Chief Judge Royce Lamberth to suspend his injunction last week halting human embryonic stem cell research. Lamberth faces a Tuesday deadline to make his decision after the Department of Justice (DOJ) on 31 August asked for an emergency stay. Late this afternoon, with a long weekend looming, the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR), an advocacy group that includes about 100 patient organizations, scientific societies, and foundations, filed an 11-page amicus brief hoping to tip the judge in that direction.

The CAMR brief focuses on two elements it says need to be considered in evaluating the injunction: the public interest in the case and the stay’s impact on patients. The coalition argues that if the judge’s injunction halting the research stands, “the result would be an immediate and devastating impact on ongoing research,” in part because researchers “will have no way to know when such activities may resume.” Because it already takes so long to transform basic scientific findings into actual treatments, the delay “inevitably will harm patients,” the coalition argues.

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