Essay On The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

774 Words4 Pages

The book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot examines the life of a young African American woman with cervical cancer named Henrietta Lacks. When Lacks goes in for her cancer treatments, cells are taken from her tumor without her knowledge. These cells, known as HeLa cells, go on to become an essential advancement in the medical world. Despite the important developments made because of HeLa cells, Lacks receives very little recognition for her cells. For this reason, Skloot dedicates over a decade to researching and telling the story of Lacks, her family, and the HeLa cells. During this part of the book, the Lackses learn for the first time about Henrietta’s cells being used for research; rather than receiving this news from a health-care professional, they learn this information from Bobbette Lacks’ friend’s brother-in-law. It is clear that the family has been left in the dark for a long time about Henrietta. As they receive more information about her cells, questions raise in their mind about …show more content…

Day says that Hsu’s phone call is about being tested to see if the family has Henrietta’s cancer; however, Hsu maintains that she says nothing about cancer and only asks for blood samples. This misunderstanding was strongly rooted in the fact that Day Lacks does not understand the scientific terms that Hsu uses. So, when Day tells the family that they are to come over and give blood, he tells them it is to find out if they have cancer. Deborah, when she is confronted with the idea that she may have cancer, panics; she does not want to leave her children motherless. Skloot describes Deborah’s concern for her children saying, “Those children were all Deborah had, and she wasn’t going to let anything happen to them”

Open Document