Henrietta Lacks Informed Consent Essay

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In the study “Assessing the quality of informed consent in a resource-limited setting: A cross-sectional study,” researchers investigated the process of obtaining informed consent in clinical and public health research. The method of the study utilized interviews, in which research participants were asked a series of questions after they had been through informed consent procedures. 600 participants were interviewed, and the results show that 5.9% believed that they were not given enough information before deciding to participate. Only 5.7% of the participants said that they had not signed a consent form before making the decision to participate. Interestingly, 33.7% reported that they were not aware of their power to withdraw from participation…show more content…
The study shows that although the majority of participants believed they were given sufficient information before deciding to participate, a large portion was unaware of the withdrawal power. Therefore, the participants were not fully informed. This topic relates to the theme present in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, in which a woman named Henrietta had her cells taken and used in research without her agreement. Although her cells produced extreme profits and ground-breaking research, Henrietta’s family was never compensated. Despite her family’s multiple health issues , they could not even afford health insurance. The study suggests that although it is still flawed to a certain extent, the informed consent process has substantially improved. Only 5.9% of the participants believed that they were not given enough information before deciding to participate. In Henrietta’s time, it was legal for doctors to take her cells and use them for research without her knowledge. Today, consent is required if the donor’s name is attached. However, the process is certainly not perfect. Many patients do not fully understand what exactly it is they’re signing. Nonetheless, physicians must explain to patients to the best of their abilities. Informed consent is a vital process. Although most people are willing to help with research that will positively contribute to the future of medicine, a majority would be appalled to discover
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