Sunday, June 27, 2010

NIH and Exculpation

For those of you not fully informed of the tricky byways of stem cell science, the Boston Globe carried a nuanced editorial today that laid out the significance of an arcane “exculpatory” matter last week

Arcane, that is, to folks who do not fiddle with human embryonic stem cells.

The case involved possible use in federally funded research of embryos donated some years back. The feds said no because they were given under conditions that do not meet today's ethical tests, although the donations met the standards of the day, which actually was only a decade or two ago. The Globe called the NIH action a “major blow.”

You can read all about it here.


  1. It might be helpful if you posted a link to the Boston Globe material.

    Separately, you might want to mention the decision of the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on June 25, 2010 in the case SHERLEY v. SEBELIUS relating to the Obama order and the the Dickey-Wicker Amendment.

    The link is

  2. The link to the Boston Globe editorial is in the last paragraph of the item. Thanks for adding the additional information and link.

  3. Although there is a suggestion that the wording involved was appropriate for the earlier time, a later comment by Collins of NIH suggested that the problem was one of ethics, not time:

    This use of exculpatory language (when someone is asked to give up or waive any rights they may have) was inconsistent with the basic ethical principle of voluntary consent.

    as mentioned in USAToday, link


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