Justice In Rebecca Skloot´s The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

466 Words2 Pages
The scientific community and the media are guilty of viewing Henrietta and her family as abstractions; they did not give the Lacks family a fair trial, they’ve yet to give her family any form of compensation for the success of her cell line, and operated on Henrietta like a science fair project. In the non-fiction narrative The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, written by Rebecca Skloot, it states, “The fact that no one had sued over the growth or ownership of the HeLa cell line, he said, illustrated that patients didn’t mind when doctors took their cells and turned them into commercial products.” (204) This is unfair to the Lacks family because the fraud lawyer, Keenan Kester Cofield, deceived them. Although he is a con artist, he has a wide spectrum of knowledge about law than the Lackses really have about anything; they’ve had little to no education, and they barely knew anything about the HeLa cell line. The media made it seem as if the Lackses…show more content…
I thought, Oh jeez, she’s a real person. I started imagining her sitting in her bathroom painting those toenails, and it hit me for the first time . . . those cells we’d been working on came from a live woman. I’d never thought of it that way.” (91) They finally began to realize that Henrietta was not a toy; she was a real human being with a life, a family, and thoughts of her own. The fact that she was an under class, black woman in the 1950s made her less of a human. So doctors didn’t treat her fairly like they would someone with a lighter shade of skin. These three ideas relate to each other because it shows how people didn’t bother to get to know Henrietta or the Lacks family until real profit was involved; and the only real time they’d attempt to “contact” the family was to ask for the permission to have Henrietta’s medical records, or it’s bothersome reporters constantly asking them questions that they wouldn’t know the answer
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