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.
Bushra Pirzada Professor Swann Engh-302 October 4th 2015 Rhetorical Analysis: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks written by Rebecca Skloot tells the story of a woman named Henrietta Lacks who has her cervical cancer. It further goes to tell the audience how Henrietta altered medicine unknowingly. Henrietta Lacks was initially diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1951; however, the doctors at John Hopkins took sample tissues from her cervix without her permission. The sample tissues taken from Henrietta’s cervix were used to conduct scientific research as well as to develop vaccines in the suture. Her sample tissues were known as HeLa cells.
Where she was accepted to become infected in order to help find a cure for Yellow Fever. There were seven people that were accepted. However, she and all the others were required to stay at the hospital where they could keep an eye on all of them. All seven volunteers were bitten by the infected mosquito, In hope to create an immunity to Yellow Fever. Clara herself had only caught a mild case of Yellow Fever, with a painfully throbbing headache and intense nausea.
She worked to promote the cause of women’s suffrage. “Tubman travelled to New York, Boston, and Washington D.C. to speak out in favor of women’s right to vote “At some point in the late 1890s, she underwent brain surgery a Boston Massachusetts General Hospital as she was unable to sleep because of pains and “buzzing” in her head. She refused to be given anesthesia. Instead she chewed a bullet during her surgery. She had seen the Civil War Soldiers do this when their limbs had to be amputated.” Her dream was to build a home for the elderly, in 1908 the “Harriet Tubman Home for the Elderly” was built.
It is very clear to most that Grey’s Anatomy is an inaccurate depiction of medicine and the healthcare industry. Though heavily dramatized and ‘doctored’, there have been moments of learning, especially with this ethical issue. In episode 18 of season 6 (Suicide is Painless), Dr. Altman, a cardiothoracic surgeon, is faced with a situation where her patient, Kim Allen, wishes to end her life through physician-assisted suicide. Kim is a newly married patient with stage IV large cell lung cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes and liver. Her only option remaining is palliative care and she has been given 6 months to live and will soon have to be intubated due to breathing difficulties.
So, when they went to institutions for treatment they were often just seen as things that the doctors and scientists could tinker with. Skloot writes a bit on the Tuskegee syphilis study, which lead to white doctors abusing their patients for “research” and to later state “the news spread like pox spread through the black communities: doctors were doing research on black people lying to them, and watching them die (50). Skloot stated that when Henrietta went in for her cancer treatment, the doctor preforming the treatment did not even tell, nor ask her if she wanted to be a donor of cells, instead he just cut the samples from her cervix and sent them off (33). Had she been a white female going through the same treatment, the protocol would definitely have been different, the doctors would have gotten consent from the patient before doing anything of that nature. All of this adds together to show how Henrietta was objectified for the use of
She made him believe that he was superior of everyone else, leaving him with only a few friends when he was growing up. His mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and Harold took care of her from beginning to end. He was very interested and fascinated on how much morphine helped her suffering. Her death made him go to medical school. He then met his wife, Primrose, and had two kids.
Dix was diagnosed with malaria in 1870, she continued to write but eventually was put into the Trenton hospital, a hospital she founded forty years earlier. “I think even lying on my bed I can still do something.” This quote was recorded when she was at Trenton Hospital. This quote is showing how dedicated she was to her work and how she was always wanting to contribute to the people in need. At the age of 85, Dix was declared dead on July 17, 1887. During the Civil War, and the time period nearing the end of her life, the encounter with her would be a positive encounter.
The nurse replies that "this will help counter-react the medicine", the medicine that was killing your child. This is the situation my mom was faced when giving birth to my sister, a situation that no parent should ever face; a preventable experience. My sister was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and autism. When she was four her doctors told
In the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, education plays a substantial role in what occurs throughout the book. Many major events are related to people not understanding what is happening to them. Skloot brings up the topic ’Lack of Education,’ frequently and this affected Henrietta's treatments, and how her family viewed the situation, and how the black community viewed scientist overall. In many occasions lack of education causes a major event to happen, “she didn't write much, and she hadn't studied science in school,”(pg 16) with little education Henrietta had no idea what was wrong with her. Without Henrietta or her family knowing symptoms of certain diseases Henrietta does not go to the hospital till the end.
The book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot examines the life of a young African American woman with cervical cancer named Henrietta Lacks. When Lacks goes in for her cancer treatments, cells are taken from her tumor without her knowledge. These cells, known as HeLa cells, go on to become an essential advancement in the medical world. Despite the important developments made because of HeLa cells, Lacks receives very little recognition for her cells. For this reason, Skloot dedicates over a decade to researching and telling the story of Lacks, her family, and the HeLa cells.
Doctors persuaded Mr. Lack saying that the autopsy would not only help her kids but the world as well. After agreeing the body was analyzed and cells were taken from her with out any permission. Henrietta’s cells were different “they reproduced an entire generation every twenty-four hours, and they never stopped. They became the first immortal human cells ever grown in a laboratory”(Skool).
As astounding actor Mike Judge once said, “It 's amazing what we can get away with and what we can 't.” You can get away with so many things, just like the doctor that treated Henrietta Lacks. The doctors in early 1900s did not require much schooling to become doctors. Henrietta went to John Hopkins hospital to see the only gynecologist, Howard Jones. Jones examined her, took notes of her growing tumor, took a sample of her tumor and sent her home. Howard Jones sent her cells off to a laboratory, and that was when they discovered something marvelous.
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. After Henrietta had died family came to visit but brought Tuberculosis with them. Tuberculosis is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs (Tuberculosis). Most of the family was infected with the disease including Joe.
Dr. George Otto Gey Rebecca Skloot writes in The Life of Henrietta Lacks, part two “Death” how she was able to contact the family and describes the medical research on HeLa cells. Rebecca Skloot has a hard time getting a hold of the family since trust is a big issue. To illustrate, since Henrietta Lacks cell are legendary in the medical and science community the Lacks family been bombarded with people trying to get information about Henrietta. Because of this, Rebecca, had to first gain the trust of the family before she will be able to talk to the family. Scientist and doctor used Henrietta’s cells on animals and people to study the effects of the cancer cells and gain new knowledge.