The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the story of Henrietta, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line. Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks, aided by journalist Rebecca Skloot. Deborah wanted to learn about her mother, and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever. It is a story of medical arrogance and triumph, race, poverty and deep friendship between the unlikeliest people. There had been many books published about Henrietta’s cells, but nothing about Henrietta’s personality, experiences, feeling, life style etc.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a book written by Rebecca Skloot. Chapter 1 begins shortly after Henrietta’s daughter, Deborah, and her son, Joe, were born. After those two were born, she then began to experience vaginal bleeding at the wrong time of the month. Feeling like something was wrong, Henrietta rushed to the doctor. She only went to see the doctor “If she felt she had no other choice”.
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
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.
Henrietta Lacks was a black tobacco farmer from the south who, in 1950, at the age of 30, she was diagnosed with aggressive cervical cancer. Lacks went to John’s Hopkins medical center for treatment for her cancer. In April of 1951, she underwent surgery to remove the larger tumor on her cervix. Henrietta Lacks, died three days following the surgery. Even though Henrietta Lacks died, her cells from the tumor have lived on and have made a major impact on the biomedical community.
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. One of the utmost riveting and critical scenes of this section occurs in the first few pages.
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
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. As a poor, black family, the Lacks’ were discriminated against. Even the medical treatments they received were often not the best treatments offered and they were often experimented on. Having the fear of being mistreated and used for experimentation made the Lacks’ even more upset about Henrietta’s death.
Ethos, logos, and pathos are forms of the rhetorical choices the author used to further convey her argument to her audience. Her use of ethos is noted in the beginning of the nonfiction piece, where she discusses her career as an author and newspaper writer; she lists her credentials and gives the readers information about her life. Each of the footnotes Ehrenreich inscribed at the bottoms of pages in the book serves as a use of logos; they are statistics and historical records providing data about companies, labor laws, and other information pertinent to previous passages. Pathos involves the author appeals to the audience’s emotions, and Ehrenreich achieves this when describing her co-worker's lives. They have limited time with family and friends due to being occupied full time by their
Despite the wrongdoings Henrietta Lacks was put through her cells did a lot to help advance science. Her cells helped develop different types of vaccines, which such as her daughter faced. A lot of good and bad came out of Henrietta’s
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!
Deborah states, "Truth be told, I can 't get mad at science because it help people live, and I 'd be a mess without it. I 'm a walking drugstore! I can 't say nuthin bad about science, but I won 't lie, I would like some health insurance so I don 't got to pay all that money every month for drugs my mother cells probably helped make". This explains how Deborah has to spend all her money on not even all her medication because she can 't even afford health insurance that will cover her medicine. African Americans who were
Having quotes that relate to the purpose of the article is quite effective. Having certain facts that pertain to the audience can keep the reading the