Participation Portfolio 1 Asst 3: Henrietta Lacks Discussion Questions Please answers each of the following questions, and be prepared to discuss in class 1. Please outline the history of Henrietta Lacks 's tissue cells. Who did what with the cells, when, where and for what purpose? Who benefited, scientifically, medically, and monetarily?
In “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, Rebecca Skloot analyzes ethics in past scientific/medical studies, specifically Henrietta Lack’s case, to alter the way the reader sees how modern medicine came to be. Doctors took the cancer cells of a young, poor, African-American woman diagnosed with cervix cancer in 1951, without her consent, and used them to grow an immortal cell line that has made millions of dollars and is still used today. Skloot shows the effect Henrietta’s infamous cells (HeLa cells) have had on the scientific community presently and show the negative effect it has had on her family. The author wants the audience be aware of the how an essential cell line used in research was created with great ethical injustice. Skloot wants audiences to learn a little from Henrietta’s story and at least be aware of the ethical scientific issues today to form their own opinion.
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.
I first heard about Henrietta Lacks story after noticing and advertisement of Oprah Winfrey directing or possibly playing the role of Ms. Lacks. Reading the caption underneath the picture posted I decided to inquire more about the Henrietta Lacks. Ms. Lacks was an African American woman who found out in 1951 after a biopsy, Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer. The manifestation of the tumor was unlike anything that had ever been seen by the examining gynecologist Dr. Howard Jones. Henrietta Lacks was treated at the segregated John Hopkins Hospital with radium tube inserted and sewn into her body, a standard treatment at that time sewn in her body. However, a few days after doctors removed the tubes and performed an X-Ray exam. The doctors, took two samples, a noncancerous and a cancerous part of her cervix without her permission. These cells would ultimately develop into the HeLa immortal cell line, a universally used cell line in biomedical research. My immediate reaction to the ethical issue with Henrietta Lacks cell taken without her permission disturbed me because I felt if she was a White woman doctors would have asked for permission and would have given credit
Henrietta Lacks was an African-American woman whose cells from her cancerous tumor led to many medical advances in the world. The cells led to the HeLa line, which have a crucial role in drug development and toxicity testing (Hunt). Prior to the HeLa line, it was proven impossible to grow human cells in a laboratory for any length of time. The conflict in this amazing discovery is that her cells were taken from her body for medical purposes without her permission. People argue that people have to be given legal ownership of their tissues and given money for them or medical advances made using the tissues.
This part of the novel begin with the family discovering that their mother’s cells were being used in laboratories everywhere in the world. Her cells were used to help develop drugs for treating, herpes, polio, leukemia, influenza, hemophilia and Parkinson’s disease. Also, they were used to study lactose digestion, sexually transmitted diseases, appendicitis, human longevity, and mosquito mating (Skloot, 4). Part three also covers the amount of profits that were made from HeLa and how much the Lacks family struggled with numerous amounts of medical conditions and other adversities that could have all been alleviated with their share of the HeLa cell line profit. The chapters also cover a few legal cases and once important case (Moore vs. Regents of the University of California) that cause the Supreme Court to conclude that human tissues after being left in the doctor's office, no longer belonged to the patients, rather is in the ownership of doctor or the hospital.
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
In 1951, at the age of 31 Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Henrietta was under treatment at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where cells from her malignant tumor were removed. Neither Henrietta nor any of her family members knew about the tissue sample and nor did the Hopkins ever informed them of the situation. Unfortunately after Henrietta’s radiation treatment, her condition continued to worsen and soon she lost her battle to cancer on octomber 4th 1951. Henriettas cells left the Hopkins what they discovered to be known to be the first immortal human cell line.
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.
Henrietta Lacks was a thirty-one year old African American who had five kids and married her cousin David Lacks. Henrietta was diagnosed with cervical cancer, the doctors never informed Mrs. Lacks that her cells were to be tested on. The Lacks family was certainly not advised that Henrietta 's cells were growing at an incredible rate. Because of this, the cancer cells were shipped and bought across the world. The last 8 months of Henrietta’s death became a piece of history nobody would ever want to forget. Not only would her cells be important, but also, these cancer cells would cause her family to go through many challenges. Though Henrietta’s might have not been and important person while being alive. She & her family live through her reproducing cancer cells that continue to create advancements in the medical field.
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.
This study was passed and funded through Congress; however they did not know the full story. The wrong in this study was that the men did not give informed consent and did not receive any treatment. The men were studied till their autopsy, which is obviously death. This sparked much controversy and changed human experimentation forever.
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.