The origination of HeLa cells, used in biomedical research for a potential cure for cancer, had made many ground breaking discoveries in science; all thanks to one woman, Mrs. Henrietta Lacks. The history of Mrs. Lacks’s contribution to these studies raised many ethical issues concerning healthcare practice. In the short film, The Way of All Flesh, we learn how these cells were revealed by direct violation of ethical principles. During the 1950s, matters regarding informed consent practices were in their beginning stages of implementation. The first direct violation of ethical principles with Lacks was the breach of autonomy. During her treatment at Johns Hopkins hospital in 1951, she had been informed her diagnosis was indeed cancer. Her …show more content…
In order to research the theory of cancerous cells being infectious, two scientists traveled to an Ohio maximum security prison to conduct several experiments on prisoners. This testing involved taking the HeLa cells, and injecting the prisoners, to observe possible reactions. Despite the fact that the prisoners were informed of the risks, this experimentation was conducted intentionally to cause disease in another human being. This theory, however, was disproved as an infectious cancer because none of the test subjects developed full blown cancer. The final violation of ethical principles, in the story of Henrietta Lacks, was the violation of justice. Without the contribution of Henrietta’s cells, many discoveries and vaccines, such as the vaccine that conquered Polio, would not have made their pivotal breakthroughs in biomedical research. Her direct and unknowingly, supportive contribution helped save many people’s lives all over the world. Unfortunately, her named did not receive the recognition it deserved, and her family never received any compensation for profits made from direct use of her
Not to mention times were different when it came to handling human rights. For example, as mentioned in the book, “...the Nuremberg Code and the American Medical Association Code of ethics, which clearly said that doctors should keep patient information confidential, the Hippocratic Oath wasn’t law,” meaning many doctors could do as they pleased when testing patients. It wasn’t standard practice to inform patients that their information was being used in medical research. As a result of this, the HeLa cells were discovered and have been used for good. For example, they are responsible for helping advance the polio vaccine, chemotherapy, cloning, gene mapping, and much more.
Although many are unaware of it, scientific ethics have always been a major issue, especially in the United States. This was especially the case of Henrietta Lacks and her family through the early 1950s to present day. Henrietta Lacks hurried into John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland to find out why there was a lump on her cervix. When doctors diagnosed her with cervical cancer, she filled out a form giving consent to let the doctors perform any surgery they deemed necessary. Soon after Henrietta died in October of 1951, her husband, David (Day) Lacks, signed a consent form to let them perform an autopsy on her corpse.
TIC673 HeLa Assignment 2018 In one of the best seller novel, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” the author Rebecca Skloot describes about the first human immortal cells that lived in laboratory culture and about the story of black, 31-year-old woman from whom these cells were obtained. The cells which not only proved to be most important in the field of medicine but also brought medical revolution were obtained from her without her or her family’s knowledge leading to the most debatable ethical issues. The following essay would describe the cell’s contribution to science, how they were obtained and some of the ethical issues violated. Henrietta’s cells did much good for the society.
Henrietta Lacks Honor Essay “The reason Henrietta's cells were so precious was because they allowed scientists to perform experiments that would have been impossible with a living human. They cut HeLa cells apart and exposed them to endless toxins, radiation, and infection. They bombarded them with drugs, hoping to find one that would kill malignant cells without destroying normal ones.” (58)”Throughout the book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” there are many examples of how the HeLa cell of Henrietta Lacks provided cellular information and examples that helped mold many cellular discoveries and experiments.
30year old Henrietta Lacks underwent radiation treatment for cervical cancer at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore In 1951. During her treatment, George Gey the surgeon who performed the procedure removed pieces of her cervix without her knowledge and sent them to a lab. Her cells were used to develop the polio vaccine, used in the first space missions to see what would happen to human cells in zero gravity. Henrietta’s cells were the first human cells ever cloned, some of the first genes ever mapped. They have been used to create some of our most important cancer
Through her cells we see the impact it created in medical research and understand ethical issues that arose from this experience. I, as many others in the world, strive for an answer on how to stop cancer from occurring and curing it once and for all. 1951 in Baltimore, Henrietta Lacks was a beautiful 30-year-old mother of five children who went to the gynecologist because of spotting between monthly cycles. On examination a lesion was found on her cervix that was biopsied for pathology and found to be epidermoid carcinoma of the cervix, Stage I cancer. This was an interesting case because when Henrietta’s cancer cells were tested they weren’t like other cancer cells; they were aggressive and grew very rapidly.
“They recruited hundreds of African American men with syphilis, then watched them die slow, painful, preventable deaths, even after they realized penicillin could cure them” (Skloot 50). The quote connects to my claim by talking about how when scientists were experimenting on men with syphilis to find a cure (their goal) that they continued to wait and watched them die, already knowing what could cure them, which is an example of wrong and incomplete conduct. “He repeated this process with about a dozen other cancer patients. He told them he was testing their immune systems; he said nothing about injecting them with someone else's malignant cells” (Skloot 127-128).
Henrietta Lacks was a black tobacco farmer from the south who, in 1950, at the age of 30, she was diagnosed with aggressive cervical cancer. Lacks went to John’s Hopkins medical center for treatment for her cancer. In April of 1951, she underwent surgery to remove the larger tumor on her cervix. Henrietta Lacks, died three days following the surgery. Even though Henrietta Lacks died, her cells from the tumor have lived on and have made a major impact on the biomedical community.
With regard to coercion, North Carolina’s Commissioner of Public Welfare urged the state to follow up with people who were receiving assistance from the Aid to Dependent Child Program (243). This program targeted people who were already sterilized to see if other family members would also benefit (243) as was the case with Ann. These people were taken advantage of and their natural ability to have children was taken away from them under the guise of ridding the population of unfavorable characteristics that these people just so happened to have. They were also subject to immense psychological, emotional, and physical harm for seemingly no reason. Doctors must recite and uphold the Hippocratic Oath which states that one must “do no harm” and ethics was a large topic of debate during the 1960s and early 70s after a slew of unethical experiments had taken place i.e. The Humphreys, Stanford, and Milgram’s studies.
In the case of Henrietta Lacks and her family, the mistreatment of doctors and lack of informed consent defined nearly 60 years of the family’s history. Henrietta Lacks and her children had little to no information about serious medical procedures and the use of Henrietta’s cells in research. Henrietta’s cells launched a multibillion-dollar industry without her consent and doctors even took advantage of her children’s lack of education to continue their research without questions: “[Doctor] did not explain why he was having someone draw blood from Deborah… he wrote a phone number and told her to use it for making more appointments to give more blood” (188). Deborah did not have the knowledge to understand the demands or requests the doctors made of her, and the doctors did not inform her explicitly.
Anti-vaxxers have questioned the safety, effectiveness and necessity of vaccinations since the 19th Century. But, what happens when the freedom to choose does not solely affect the life of the individual making the choice? This was made clear in a Law and Order SVU episode, selfish. In this essay, I will argue that the Monica’s choice not to vaccinate her child was morally impermissible at the time. In doing so, I will integrate this week’s readings into the discussion and comment on how my response to the moral impermissibility of Monica’s act informs my view about mandatory vaccination laws and the legal consequences for non-compliant individuals.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the story of Henrietta, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line. Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks, aided by journalist Rebecca Skloot. Deborah wanted to learn about her mother, and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever. It is a story of medical arrogance and triumph, race, poverty and deep friendship between the unlikeliest people. There had been many books published about Henrietta’s cells, but nothing about Henrietta’s personality, experiences, feeling, life style etc.
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.
After reading this case I was terribly shocked about the fact that something like this could happen in our medical history. I couldn’t believe how a patient could be neglected so much. Based on the material that we have learned the lack of ethical theory of deontology in Dr. Evan was disturbing. As a doctor Dr. Evan’s role is to care for patients, keep them away from harm and prolong their life. Though in the trial he stated as if he didn’t care.
But unfortunately, the experiment was also never clearly explained to them, they had thought it was just the best possible treatment expected to cure the sickness they might have had. Many unethical practices were evident in this study, in this case, the most important one was informed consent, which is a consent given by a patient to a doctor for treatment with full knowledge of the possible risks and benefits. None of the participants in the Tuskegee study