Lawsuits Affect California Stem Cell Research Program
The delay in awarding stem cell research funds under Proposition 71 is helping other states "close the gap on California's once giant lead in stem cell research," according to some national observers, the Christian Science Monitor reports. State residents in 2004 approved Proposition 71 to provide $3 billion for stem cell research over 10 years (Wood, Christian Science Monitor, 3/8).
A trial to determine the constitutionality of Proposition 71 concluded last week. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Sabraw, who is deciding the case, is expected to issue a ruling after March 15, but an appeal is expected regardless of how Sabraw rules (California Healthline, 3/3).
Legal analysts say the appeals process could take more than a year.
In related news, the Assembly Health Committee next month is expected to consider a bill that would "codify reforms" to Proposition 71, according to the Monitor (Christian Science Monitor, 3/8).
"It is critical that rulings concerning the lawsuits" challenging Proposition 71 "move along as quickly as possible," a Contra Costa Times editorial states. "California voters, researchers and the state economy deserve to have Prop. 71 implemented in full," according to the editorial (Contra Costa Times, 3/6).
In related news, KPBS' "KPBS News" on Tuesday reported on the ethical issues involved in the formation of the Stem Cell Resource, a San Diego embryo bank that is believed to be the first public embryo bank in the U.S. The segment includes comments from Michael Kalichman, director of the Research Ethics Program at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 3/7).
The complete transcript is available online. The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.