During the 1950’s African American’s had a difficult time living in a world where they were seen to be lesser of a human being than what they were. They were treated differently in normal everyday lives as well as in the medical world. Henrietta Lacks was a woman who was greatly affected by this divide between whites and African-Americans. Because of the color of her skin, I believe she was not treated to the best of the doctor’s ability, and instead just used for indirect experimentation. In Rebecca Skloot’s novel, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, she gives examples of how African-Americans were treated differently, a few of those include; the conditions of John Hopkins, the African-American medical experiments, and Hector Henry.
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.
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
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.
Is it right for one's life to be manipulated for the use of scientific research or is it just a evasion on the person's privacy. Henrietta Lacks was a African American with cells that intrigued many people, she was diagnosed with cancer leaving her to be cared for at her local hospital, where she would later die due to the extremity of the illness. While at the hospital she was unaware that the doctors there were experimenting on her taking cell samples from her body, to help find a resolution to multiple diseases. The people who examined Henrietta manipulated her and the rest of her family to gain information on her cellular structure to be ahead of others looking to achieve the same objective. Henrietta Lacks cells should have never been evaluated because it's an evasion of her freedom, a danger to her personal health, and cause conflicts.
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
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
In “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, Rebecca Skloot analyzes ethics in past scientific/medical studies, specifically Henrietta Lack’s case, to alter the way the reader sees how modern medicine came to be. Doctors took the cancer cells of a young, poor, African-American woman diagnosed with cervix cancer in 1951, without her consent, and used them to grow an immortal cell line that has made millions of dollars and is still used today. Skloot shows the effect Henrietta’s infamous cells (HeLa cells) have had on the scientific community presently and show the negative effect it has had on her family. The author wants the audience be aware of the how an essential cell line used in research was created with great ethical injustice. Skloot wants audiences to learn a little from Henrietta’s story and at least be aware of the ethical scientific issues today to form their own opinion. However, Skloot doesn’t push the audience one way or
Rebecca Skloot stands before the rickety old cabin, pressed against her parked car, fearfully hiding from the looming, antique cottage, afraid of what is to come. She lies in the middle of Turner Station, an ancient, eerie, ghost of a town where the Lacks family grew up on a bustling tobacco farm. The house was the childhood home of Henrietta Lacks, the late cervical cancer patient whose cells became the first ever to continue to reproduce and thrive outside of the body. This crumbling, wooden cabin is home to many memories and long-lasting history that is going to lead Rebecca to learning who is behind the HeLa cells and how important she is- to her vast family of cousins, grandparents and siblings, and to the world and future of biology for
In this article R. Alta Charo states that we have a right to use fetal tissue for research and therapy (Fetal Tissue, 1) The article goes into how a lot of people find this to be a moral issue and a matter of the conscience and explains how the antiabortion activist that don’t agree with the research are actually benefitting from the fetal tissue. They argue that the research supports abortions but have taken part in receiving vaccines and therapy that comes from the research.
The article “The End of the Henrietta Lacks Saga?” From the Smithsonian magazine was written by Rachel Nuwer in 2013. The Smithsonian is a magazine from the museum in Washington, D.C. Authors should use critical thinking when writing magazine articles, but some do not. Nuwer successfully informed readers about Lacks and what happened 1950 until now.
While the general terrain covered by Skloot has already been charted (by Washington and other journalists), the signal accomplishment of The Immortal Life is its excavation of hospital and medical records on Henrietta Lacks and its exhaustive interviews with her surviving family members. Skloot braids that compelling stream into a fluid accounting of the nascent history of cell research in America, creating in the end a riveting narrative that is wholly original.
The themes in the novel tell a complete story of life, science, and the science of life. “It was very dehumanizing to be thought of as Mo, to be thought of as Mo in the medical records: ‘Saw Mo today.’ ” (Skloot 201). This animal like referral to patients then demonstrates just how far medical ethics has come. It also proves that these dehumanizing tactics are a major theme in the story. Henrietta Lacks’s daughter Deborah once stated “If our mother cells done so much for medicine, how come her family can’t afford to see no doctors?” (Skloot 9). The lack of ethics also points to another theme of Henrietta’s story, discoveries are more than the discovery itself, there are always people behind them. Deborah’s words also emphasize the human side
Through an abundance of medical and historical accounts, Medical Apartheid and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks exemplify how institutional racism has shaped the lives of African Americans. From the beginning of slavery through emancipation, African Americans have overwhelmingly been at the center of unethical medical research. The vast majority of this research has been done unwillingly. For research and experimentation that received the participant’s permission, there were usually hidden elements they were unaware of. Henrietta Washington sites specific examples, ranging from experimentation on plantations to post-emancipation radiation testing on African Americans. Rebecca Skloot takes a more in depth approach and follows a family who
Henrietta Lacks was a black woman wronged of her rights and patient confidentiality in Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1951. She was a poor tobacco farmer, who after delivering her last child, Joseph, felt an unusual knot in her womb. When she thought the condition of her lump was more serious than she thought, she got it checked by Doctor Howard W. Jones at Johns Hopkins Hospital, "Jones found a lump exactly where she 'd said he would. He described it as an eroded, hard mass about the size of a nickel. If her cervix was a clock 's face, the lump was at four o 'clock," (Skloot 17). Being a victim of racism in the early 1950s, she didn 't get the necessary medical attention needed to treat her. Jones cut a small sample of her lump for a biopsy that showed results of her being diagnosed of cervical cancer or adenocarcinoma, a malignant tumor of the epithelial tissue in her cervix. During her first cancer treatment, Dr. Lawrence Wharton Jr. without Henrietta 's consent took two pieces of live tissue from which her cells: one piece of tissue from her tumor and one from healthy cervical tissue near the tumor. Even after her death, those cells continue to live today. These immortal cells were