Henrietta Lack History

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Henrietta Lack was an African American woman born in 1920 who helped science define some of the world’s medical discoveries. Many woman were dying every year from cervical cancer. Little did she know what the future held for her and millions of other people. This situation saddens me as a medical professional because a human was treated as a specimen rather than a person. Even though this was many decades ago, I feel as though there still should have been standard practices in place that prevented this kind of behavior from those who are supposed to be trusted most, health care professionals. The article we had to read in a previous assignment is a wonderful account of Henrietta Lacks life and the impact she made on the world today. It…show more content…
Medicine has changed in ways over the years that one might have never thought twice about having anything like that happen to them. People today have increased their knowledge overall about their health situations and how to treat themselves. Patients are stepping up and making decisions about their healthcare choices each day with physicians. And in this process it has turned out to be so important for people to understand what is truly being done before medical treatment is given. We have talked this semester about informed consent and how important it is that our patients understand the meaning of what they are having done. We need to be able to understand what the nature of the procedure is and what it details. It’s also good to discuss other types of alternatives. Informed consents can also bring up certain topics about the risk that can be involved with the procedure. As healthcare professionals it is part of our job to help look after the patient and make sure that all legal documents are in order. Sometimes when patients come into the hospital it can be difficult at times for them when they are feeling bad in knowing exactly what is going on. There are cases where it’s…show more content…
A patient’s decision-making capacity is variable as their medications or underlying disease processes ebb and flow. You should do what you can to catch a patient in a lucid state - even lightening up on the medications if necessary and safe - in order to include her in the decision making process. Delirious patients have waxing and waning abilities to understand information. However, if a careful assessment is done and documented at each contact, and during lucid periods the patient consistently and persistently makes the same decision over time, this may constitute adequate decisional capacity for the question at

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