The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a book written by Rebecca Skloot. Chapter 1 begins shortly after Henrietta’s daughter, Deborah, and her son, Joe, were born. After those two were born, she then began to experience vaginal bleeding at the wrong time of the month. Feeling like something was wrong, Henrietta rushed to the doctor. She only went to see the doctor “If she felt she had no other choice”.
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.
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
Her doctor collected cancerous cells and healthy cells from her cervix and gave them to the cancer researcher, George Otto Gey, who was trying to keep cells alive for more than a couple days. Henrietta endured intense radium treatments, but she still died at the age of 31, leaving her husband and five children behind. An amazing discovery was made Henrietta’s cell were immortal. Racism is prevalent in this book through the limited availability of healthcare, unethical behaviors of the doctors, and how racism affected her family. During this time, there was an extensive lack of medical care for colored people.
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.
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.
She repetitively discusses the process she went through in order to get an interview with Henrietta’s family and friends, more specifically with Deborah. Not only does she personally interviews family member and friends but she also discusses HeLa cells and other essential information by finding credible sources. For example, “According to Judith Greenburg, director of the Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology at the National Institute of General Medical Science, the NIH now has “very stringent guidelines” requiring consent for any tissues collected for their banks.” (Skloot 318)
Despite the wrongdoings Henrietta Lacks was put through her cells did a lot to help advance science. Her cells helped develop different types of vaccines, which such as her daughter faced. A lot of good and bad came out of Henrietta’s
Participation Portfolio 1 Asst 3: Henrietta Lacks Discussion Questions Please answers each of the following questions, and be prepared to discuss in class 1. Please outline the history of Henrietta Lacks 's tissue cells. Who did what with the cells, when, where and for what purpose? Who benefited, scientifically, medically, and monetarily?
The media and scientific community are guilty of viewing Henrietta Lacks and her family as abstractions. Nonetheless, the central argument of the book is that the scientific community has an ethical obligation to respect the dignity, autonomy, and person-hood of all subjects and individuals with whom it comes into contact. Accordingly, individuals cannot be made into subjects of scientific inquiry without their consent. And, when objects of scientific study (including, for example, the physical material scientists use within a laboratory setting) are sourced from individual people, those individuals deserve to be made aware of such sourcing, and when possible they ought to be appropriately compensated. Therefore, you can see how the scientific
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.
The story, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, explores the true story of a woman named Deborah and her journey to discover more information about her mother and what her cells did for humanity. Deborah’s mother, Henrietta, died of cancer and her cells, which were attained by inhumane means, contributed greatly to the scientific study of curing other diseases. Although, Henrietta’s death also had a great impact on Deborah due to the fact that Deborah had to face certain difficult situations. With her passing, Deborah was forced to live with a cousin of her mother, who abused her and had a husband who also verbally and sexually mistreated her. The abuse is prominently shown when Galen, the husband, screams at Henrietta, “Get back here till I finish with you, Dale!
Deborah states, "Truth be told, I can 't get mad at science because it help people live, and I 'd be a mess without it. I 'm a walking drugstore! I can 't say nuthin bad about science, but I won 't lie, I would like some health insurance so I don 't got to pay all that money every month for drugs my mother cells probably helped make". This explains how Deborah has to spend all her money on not even all her medication because she can 't even afford health insurance that will cover her medicine. African Americans who were