Racism in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Imagine your mother, sister, wife, or cousin was diagnosed with cervical cancer and you believed the doctors were doing everything in their power to help her. Only later you discovered her cells were used for research without consent and she was not properly informed of the risks of her treatment due to her race. This story happened and is told by Rebecca Skloot in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Skloot use of narrative and her writing style enhances the understanding of the story. Henrietta Lacks was a young black woman who was diagnosed with cervical cancer at John Hopkins Hospital.
We can partially blame the atrocious experimental research conducted by the doctors exposed by Skloot on the era of American culture in which their research took place in. A time in America’s history where places like The Hospital of the Negro Insane and the belief that your doctor is always right existed and patient advocacy and informed written consent forms did not. Individual and population rights were considered a joke for African American at this time. Throughout the book, black Americans were victims of medical experimentation undisclosed to them. The same is true in the time Henrietta Lacks spent in John Hopkins hospital.
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!
The film shows Sagrario Cruz Carretero, professor in the University of Veracruz, talk about how she discovered that she actually has African roots since her family rejected their roots. She says, “families do hide the black grandma in the closet”, Mexicans deny their black ancestry. Mexicans who cannot hide their “black grandma in the closet” and openly identify as being black, are targets of discrimination. Both the film and the documentary talk about how Afro-Mexicans are often mistaken for not actually being Mexican. The article says, “they are stopped routinely by the police and accused of being illegal immigrants from Cuba or Central America”, Afro-Mexicans are stopped simply for being black.
Dr. Isaacson in the book “The Hot Zone” does not play a major role in the story, but when in a time of need she steps out and does what is needed for the common good. Recently after Nurse Mayinga died from the Ebola virus, there was a need for someone to clean up the room that she had been staying in in the hospital. The crisis moment here was that everyone understood that this woman had the ebola virus, so there were no volunteers to clean up the room for risk of catching the virus, and most likely dying from it. It is at this point in the chapter where the role of the common good comes into play in the form of Dr Isaacson offering her help to clean out the infected room. “Dr Isaacson said to the staff “I won't be of much use to you now,”(pg.
Her doctor, Dr. Sottiurai had ordered her to have bilateral arteriograms to see what could be the cause of the poor circulation. The hospital that Dr. Sottiurai was located were unable to perform the procedure, so she was transferred to another hospital under another doctor by the name of Dr. Lang who performed the procedure on the incorrect location, the procedure was performed on the thigh instead of the elbows. The procedure seemed to go well, however shortly after her procedure her condition started to deteriorate and ultimately she suffered from a stroke 11 days after and passed away. Her children filed a lawsuit claiming that the incorrect procedure was performed and that the patient had not consented to
She realized she had been labeled as an abolitionist, and her life was in danger, but she was determined to help her people. She overlooked her safety to help someone in need. “Harriet established the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged on a property adjacent to her own. After undergoing brain surgery to try to alleviate the symptoms from the head injury that had plagued her since childhood, and being essentially penniless, Harriet was forced to move into the home herself in 1911. She died there on March 10, 1913, supported by family and friends”.
Dewey Dell did not regret the decision of going to Jefferson for selfish reasons. She regretted trying to get an abortion from the “doctor” she went to see. Most people would understand her decision, but that should not have been her main focus of her trip. Dewey Dell and her mother never really speak before Addie dies, but she was still Dewey’s mother. A death of a family member, even one a person is not close to, is still a sad occasion and said family member should be given a proper burial.
Christopher has think idea about his mom that he finds out shortly in the story that wasn 't true. He has the idea that his mother is dead and died in the hospital from being sick. He doesn 't think much about this, he doesn 't really seem concerned or really even sad. Later on he finds out that his mother and his neighbors husband had an affair and that she didn 't die she just left his father. when he find out about this he still doesn 't think much of the emotional part of what 's going on, he just wants to figure out the mystery of who killed wellington.
Making end of life decisions concerning treatment is never easy for the family of the dying patient. When educating loved one about the end of life care and treatment the healthcare provider must considered the cultural and spiritual prospective of the family. Futile treatment is describe by the author as “treatment which provides no chance of meaningful prolongation of survival or may only briefly delay the inevitable death of the patient”. The health care providers at time are stigmatized by the family members are even seen as a doctors who doesn’t care when face. When my sister in-law went into the ICU and her oncologist told the family not to considered any form of life supporting method, they were very reluctant ,and would like her to