Rebecca Skloot Summary

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In this work of nonfiction, Rebecca Skloot writes about the life of a woman that unknowingly supplied her cells to scientific research. Additionally, Skloot expresses issues such as race, scientific methods, class, and ethics, that were raised by the HeLa cells. The novel commences with a quote by Elie Wiesel from The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg code. The quote follows “ We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish and with some measure of triumph”. By judging the content of the quote, it is obvious that it serves as an indirect summary of contents the book contains-- the life of Henrietta, her adversities, triumphs,…show more content…
This part of the novel begin with the family discovering that their mother’s cells were being used in laboratories everywhere in the world. Her cells were used to help develop drugs for treating, herpes, polio, leukemia, influenza, hemophilia and Parkinson’s disease. Also, they were used to study lactose digestion, sexually transmitted diseases, appendicitis, human longevity, and mosquito mating (Skloot, 4). Part three also covers the amount of profits that were made from HeLa and how much the Lacks family struggled with numerous amounts of medical conditions and other adversities that could have all been alleviated with their share of the HeLa cell line profit. The chapters also cover a few legal cases and once important case (Moore vs. Regents of the University of California) that cause the Supreme Court to conclude that human tissues after being left in the doctor's office, no longer belonged to the patients, rather is in the ownership of doctor or the hospital. Overall, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks offered great insight into what was the most important years of scientific discoveries, development of ethical practices, racial interactions, and
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