Henrietta Lacks Effect On Society

1411 Words6 Pages
On January 29, 1951, an African American woman named Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with Stage 1, Epidermoid carcinoma of the cervix, after her visit to John Hopkins Hospital. Henrietta began radium treatments which was proven to kill cancer cells and a safer option than surgery, according to her physician Howard Jones. Jones increased Henrietta’s dose of radiation in hopes to decrease the size of the tumors however the treatments were proven ineffective and her skin was burned blacker while the pain grew unbearable until she passed away on October 4, 1951. She left behind her husband David “Day” and five children: Lawrence, Elsie, David Jr, Deborah, and Zakariyya (Joe). This paper will focus on how Henrietta Lack’s and her family’s experience…show more content…
Henrietta lived in Baltimore County, Maryland so her husband Day could work at the Sparrows Point the largest steel plant in the world. The Lack’s family lived a tough life with five children and making usually less than eighty cents a day which is small compared to the white workers. According to David Williams and Michelle Sternthal, discrimination against African Americans increases the amount of stress of these individuals therefore negatively affects their health. To cope with an increase in stress individuals will seek relaxation through tobacco use, alcohol consumption and illegal drugs. Segregation impacts the health of African Americans more than any other racial group in the United States. For example, the highest socioeconomic (SES) blacks which had an income that was greater than 50,000 dollars were more segregated than the poorest Latinos and Asians with an income of less than 15,000 dollars. Eating healthy and exercising regularly is difficult for individuals in segregated areas because they lack recreational facilities and exercising outside is dangerous due to safety reasons. Healthy food is expensive compared to junk food or fast food which is relatively cheap so those on a low-income budget will choose the cheapest food available which can cause obesity and…show more content…
Women’s worse health is because they have lower socioeconomic and subordinate status which causes greater stress. Stress can weaken the immune system, cause higher rates of depression and mood disorders. Gender equality has progressed over the years however women still experience discrimination which negatively impacts both their mental and physical health. Researchers found that physicians are not taking female patients pain as serious as men’s because they believe it’s a psychological problem due to anxiety or emotional stress. Women are not as likely to receive the appropriate treatment or diagnostic testing as males and physicians were disregarding serious health problems in female
Open Document