Skloot Essay On Henrietta Lacks

569 Words3 Pages
There is a large controversy over ethics and the part that it plays in medicine. Where is the line between advancement and patient rights? The issue of tissue ownership and information ownerships is only one of the many problems that Henrietta and her family are stuck dealing with. But, before Rebekkah Skloot introduces the readers to Henrietta and her cells, Skloot opens with an epigraph from Elie Wiesel. By using Wiesel’s epigraph Skloot creates the tone for the rest of the novel. The quote claims that people shouldn 't be viewed as an idea but rather as a source of knowledge and special qualities. That is the tone Skloot is trying to provide about Henrietta. Skloot doesn’t want us to view Henrietta as an abstraction but rather a treasure…show more content…
Although Henrietta is viewed as an abstraction by doctors and scientists; she was viewed as much more. She was a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a mother who was there for her family. The main focal point of Skloot 's novel is HeLa but, it also shows her journey as a person. Henrietta contributed more than just cells to life. Henrietta reveals her treasures and her anguish through her family. She acts a rock for her family. Even in her hard times she manages to become the person to bring her family together. She did not have an easy childhood or an easy life but, she lived it as someone who embraced what she had. Her triumphs were not just from a couple of cells but from the family that she helped to provide for. We are able to view Henrietta as a person with feelings. Though nor Henrietta or Henrietta 's family were ever credited with the honor of all the good HeLa cells did, HeLa cells has helped every single person in some way. Henrietta was more than just her cells. Skloot helps us to understand that by using Elie Wiesel’s epigraph. The epigraph opens up the understanding of the importance to understand and appreciate a person and not view them as an idea, an abstraction. Henrietta is more than HeLa, her cells do not define who
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