Henrietta Lacks Medical Treatment

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During the 1950’s African American’s had a difficult time living in a world where they were seen to be lesser of a human being than what they were. They were treated differently in normal everyday lives as well as in the medical world. Henrietta Lacks was a woman who was greatly affected by this divide between whites and African-Americans. Because of the color of her skin, I believe she was not treated to the best of the doctor’s ability, and instead just used for indirect experimentation. In Rebecca Skloot’s novel, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, she gives examples of how African-Americans were treated differently, a few of those include; the conditions of John Hopkins, the African-American medical experiments, and Hector Henry. John Hopkins Hospital seemed to be a solace for those that needed medical care, due to the free treatments. However, the well-being of the patients was not the hospital’s main concern, conditions and the …show more content…

So, when they went to institutions for treatment they were often just seen as things that the doctors and scientists could tinker with. Skloot writes a bit on the Tuskegee syphilis study, which lead to white doctors abusing their patients for “research” and to later state “the news spread like pox spread through the black communities: doctors were doing research on black people lying to them, and watching them die (50). Skloot stated that when Henrietta went in for her cancer treatment, the doctor preforming the treatment did not even tell, nor ask her if she wanted to be a donor of cells, instead he just cut the samples from her cervix and sent them off (33). Had she been a white female going through the same treatment, the protocol would definitely have been different, the doctors would have gotten consent from the patient before doing anything of that nature. All of this adds together to show how Henrietta was objectified for the use of

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