Henrietta Lacks Limits

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Where Do Limits Matter? The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a biography, which describes the life of a woman whose cells reproduced even after her death. Rebecca Skloot the author of the book goes on a search to discover who Henrietta Lacks was and why no one knew the owner of the cells that saved countless lives for decades. Despite Rebecca Skloot finding Henrietta’s family and learning about their lives and history of their mother, the family was never aware of 〖HeLa〗^1 and what scientists were using her cells for until twenty years later. The information about HeLa cells brought great shock and distress to the family, which unfortunately was never completely resolved till this day. In the end of the book (Afterward), the author explains…show more content…
“In 1999, president Clinton’s National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) issued a report saying that federal oversight of tissue research is “inadequate” and “ambiguous”. It recommended specific changes that would ensure patients’ rights to control how their tissues were being used.” (page 327). Unfortunately, the changes were never made and scientists still have the ability to conduct research on one’s tissues without consent. The reason for why the changes were nullified remain unknown even to Wayne Grody an individual “who was in thick of the debate in the nineties, (for) why the congressional recommendations and NBAC report seemed to have vanished.”. Despite why the congressional recommendations suddenly disappeared, the scientific community is granted much sway over acquiring tissue which may well be considered unscrupulous. Even some of the leading scientist want people to have the ability to know and choose how their tissue is being used. “Ellen Wright Clayton, a physician who is director of the center for biomedical Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University, says there needs to be a “very public conversation” about all of this …if the issue were stated that bluntly so people could really understand what’s happening and say there okay with it, that would make me more comfortable with what we’re currently doing.” (page 320). This quote indicates scientist are aware certain studies conducted may be contrary to one’s believes and that the general public should be informed of the research that will be conducted on an individual’s

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