Racism In The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

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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. 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. To extend this, there were even fewer hospitals for the poor in which case Henrietta was. John Hopkins hospital was the only one in the area that treated black patients and had a free ward. Skloot (2011) wrote “David drove Henrietta
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