Henrietta Lacks Conclusion

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fend for themselves, despite being relatives to one of the most important individuals’ in cell-line history. Now, knowing the full potential of these cells, the question arises of why the Lacks family was not told of the cells by the scientists themselves. Many possibilities arise, but the main one is that the existence of the cells would have gone against the wishes of the family. The sample of the tumor was taken before Henrietta died, but permission to perform tests was only requested after her death. Additionally, the permission was initially not granted by Day, her husband, to perform any additional test on her body. He reluctantly gave in, but he was under the assumption the tests were being performed to prevent a similar disease in…show more content…
From helping create vaccines to the diagnosis of genetic disease, the cells were very useful in medical research. The existence of the cells was concealed from her family, both to allow the research to go uninterrupted and because the identity of the person behind the cells remained a public mystery. Even after the truth came out, the family did not receive any special medical care or assistance, despite being related to Henrietta, who made many of the medications and medical procedures possible through her cells. This may have been an effort to observe any possible effects that a genetic HeLa presence would have on an individual, at the risk of the well-being of the individual. Stemming from this controversy, debate regarding the moral obligation that individuals have to provide their cells for research has begun. The Lacks family would probably disagree with this argument, since their experience with a cell “abduction” has led to neglect, withholding of information, and a dehumanization resulting from lack of credit and recognition given to Henrietta Lacks. Despite all of the grievances and injustices, the Lacks cannot deny the scientific uses and progress enabled by the cells; one can only wonder what would have become of medical research if the HeLa line had not been

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