The scientists dissociate the materials from the family not only so that they do not have to give money to the family of the donor, but also because the fact that amazing medical discoveries would have never been discovered if not for an African American woman’s cells, Henrietta Lacks. The only time when white people call the Lacks house is when they want something to do with the HeLa cells (Skloot). These facts are proof that the Lacks family weren’t paid for the use Henrietta’s cells because of their
Henrietta Lacks cells are immortal, they have been used to develop the polio vaccine, cloning, and gene mapping (Skloot). Henrietta’s cells originated from a cancerous tumor. When she died the tumor was removed without her family’s knowledge. Henrietta had a total of five children. The father of these five children was her cousin David Lacks. Joe Zakariyya Lacks was her youngest child and was born right before she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
She does this to show why the scientists involved acted the way they did for HeLa cells and why the Lack’s family was constantly being taken advantage of, even after Henrietta’s death. For example, George Gey, the scientist who immortalized HeLa cells, described himself as “ the world’s most famous vulture, feeding on human specimens almost constantly” (30). This small snippet of information already establishes Gey as a man who will do whatever it takes to further science. The audience will be better able to understand why scientists like Gey would take advantage of patients like Henrietta, and use her cells without her knowledge or consent. By also, characterizing the Lack’s family Skloot highlights why people like Henrietta’s family were easy targets for scientific experiments.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Being a victim of racism in the early 1950s, she didn 't get the necessary medical attention needed to treat her. Jones cut a small sample of her lump for a biopsy that showed results of her being diagnosed of cervical cancer or adenocarcinoma, a malignant tumor of the epithelial tissue in her cervix. During her first cancer treatment, Dr. Lawrence Wharton Jr. without Henrietta 's consent took two pieces of live tissue from which her cells: one piece of tissue from her tumor and one from healthy cervical tissue near the tumor. Even after her death, those cells continue to live today. These immortal cells were
Part two of, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, once again submerges the reader in to the world of HeLa cells. This section emphasizes what occurred with Henrietta’s immortal cells after her death. Along with the many medical discoveries made from these miracle cells, part two delves into the physical and emotional abuse that Henrietta’s children were forced to live with after her passing all while struggling financially while their mother’s cells are being sold for millions of dollars. Skloot continues her phenomenal synopsis of the life of Henrietta Lacks and the stories her cells continue to tell. One of the utmost riveting and critical scenes of this section occurs in the first few pages.
Multiple times throughout the book it was mentioned that Henrietta’s biopsy took place 60 years ago and a lot of changes have been made to science and ethics. This book did a good job bringing up ethics in science and scientific achievements that have been made over the years, but in some ways it was sensationalized to get the family the recognition they feel they deserved. As a poor, black family, the Lacks’ were discriminated against. Even the medical treatments they received were often not the best treatments offered and they were often experimented on. Having the fear of being mistreated and used for experimentation made the Lacks’ even more upset about Henrietta’s death.
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.