The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot

1263 Words6 Pages

Devon Moore
Professor Dunbar
English 111
19 September 2017
Cells that are known as HeLa are a line of immortal human cells that were developed from an African American woman in the 1950’s. They continue to be very well-known to the world of science today as they are still used. The HeLa cells are known for contributing to a lot of medical advancements. Scientists have now converted these cells into drugs to help create many different treatments for various cancers and diseases. Rebecca Skloot, sets out to tell the world the full story of the women behind the cells through her book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. In this book, Skloot’s primary goal is to humanize Henrietta Lacks, an African American tobacco farmer who died from …show more content…

Those medical records are some of the best sources about who Henrietta was other than those cells and little pictures the world has. The medical record that described Henrietta gave us an overview on her life. Henrietta’s medical record read “Sixth or seventh grade education, mother of five, occasional drinker, unexplained vaginal bleeding and blood in urine during the last two pregnancies, patient tested positive for gonorrhea (16). This information from the medical record was the best way to describe the life she lives, and the condition of her health. This allowed scientist to develop a further study on how her cells were created and how to properly act on them. This was the closest things to identify Henrietta to the world. Many people didn’t know what to believe Henrietta was, people didn’t know her name, her race anything about her other than she had immortal cells that could help prevent many things in the future. The records were a very sentimental item to Deborah: “‘No!’ Deborah screamed, wild-eyed, leaping up and diving onto the folder like it was a fumbled football, hugging it to her chest curling her body around it. I don’t know who to trust” running out of the room (239). At this point, Deborah is now in the middle of finding out information that she always wanted to know but never had the …show more content…

Lacks. This was yet another attempt to cultivate Henrietta to readers. There was a man name John Moore who had a rare and deadly form of leukemia and went through the same situation the Lacks family did. John later survived the cancer but would occasionally go back and get checked up with the doctor. During the process of his regular checkups, he later found out that they were using his cells for uses he didn’t sign for. Moore cells were being researched without his consent to later be known as Mo cells. Moore told a reporter” it was very dehumanizing to be thought as Mo, to be referred in the medical records as Mo: saw as Mo. After a couple years, Moore was given a consent form to allow them to research on the blood that he had given him. Moore states “I signed I do, you don’t want to rock the boat. You think maybe this guy would cut you off and you going to die or something” (200). A couple years later he realized he didn’t need to fly back where he got his treatments from, he could have been getting the treatment from his hometown. Compared to the Lacks family, the Lacks knew their mother didn’t give consent for them to be using her cells for research. Skloot gives this example to the readers to compare both victims and their families suffered from misuse of informed consent. Even though this happen to the Henrietta in the 1950s, John situation is a little more current in time, it

Open Document