The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot

1559 Words7 Pages

My Tissue or Your Tissue?
Where have the ethics gone in medicine today? Rebecca Skloot’s novel, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks discusses the life and influence of Henrietta Lacks within the medical community. Henrietta Lacks was an African American tobacco farmer from Clover, Virginia, whose cells were wrongly stolen from her without her knowledge or consent in 1951. Cells that would inevitably become the world’s first immortal cell line, thus transforming modern medicine forever. Through its vast impact within medical research, HeLa cells were able to aid in such efforts as the “development of the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more” (Skloot 75). While the Hela cells allowed for many accomplishments throughout the medical …show more content…

Consequently taking away the patients decision and instead giving physicians full control to seemingly “play god”, as the decision is now in their hand. Through this problem within the medical community, society has inadvertently traded off ethics in pursuit for common good (Martinez). Because of this, such practices as benevolent deception in hospitals had room to emerge during the Jim Crow era. As doctors apparently took the decision of the patient in their own hands. Benevolent deception was a widely common practice during the times of Henrietta Lacks. It was a practice in …show more content…

For instance, laws on informed consent needs to be more specific and easy to understand in order to help society. By including one set guidelines on informed consent for all areas in the medical field it allows patients to have a consistent concept of informed consent where the protocols are clearly stated for the medical community as a whole. Through this, society benefits greatly as they are able to essentially take back their rights over their own bodies and tissues. Therefore, everyone seemingly has a sense of ownership over their own tissues until they decide to donate it to research after thoroughly being

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