The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot

1109 Words5 Pages

“The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks,” is a realistic account of an African American woman in the 1950’s who is now known to have immortal cells in the scientific community. Henrietta Lacks had her cells stolen from her in 1951 at Hopkins hospital after being diagnosed with cervical cancer. The term stolen is used to describe taking something considered valuable to another without permission. Surprisingly, even after her death, Ms. Lacks’ cells continued to grow at a rapid growth and have been involved in the advances of the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, invitro-fertilization, and a tool for curing cancer. Throughout the years her cells have produced a multi billionaire company, while her name was never mentioned. Her cells are …show more content…

In the book the author, Rebecca Skloot, goes on a journey to uncover the truth when it comes to Henrietta’s past, her health, and her family who wants to know just as much as she does about this case. Skloot says “I conducted more than a thousand hours of interviews with family and friends of Henrietta Lacks, as well as with lawyers, ethicists, scientists, scientists, and journalists who’ve written about the Lacks family” (Skloot). In the book, it reveals that Henrietta Lacks’ cells were stolen by doctors during her hospital stay, and while millions believe that to be wrong, some disagree. David Korn, vice provost for research at Harvard University says, “I think people are morally obligated to allow their bits and pieces to be used to advance knowledge to help others. Since everybody benefits, everybody can accept the small risks of having their tissue scraps used in research.” This question represents at least half of the medical community, and makes people question the intended and unintended consequences in a profit - driven health care system, the supposition of quality health today, and whether they …show more content…

The truth is the medical community holds the patient hostage for profits off of the remedies procured from people at no cost to them. Scientist play the game of supply and demand with a vengeance. When children are ill, mothers are dying there is no dollar amount that can be equated with the preservation of life. Scientist, researchers and pharmaceutical companies know this and they attach exuberant prices to the remedies, treatments and cures. When the science community found a way to control HIV/ AIDS, very few people were able to get treatment because it was very expensive. “1,201,100 persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection” (AVERTing HIV & AIDS, 2014), but a number of people weren’t able to get help early on, “ 1.5 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses worldwide in 2013”(World Health Organization, 2014) . Stars like Magic Johnson are able to go on and live a healthy lifestyle because he could afford to spend thousands of dollars on medications. Some of the unintended consequences of a profit- driven health care system include the fact that people are dying. If people can’t pay for treatment, they may not receive treatment at all, or the quality of treatment will not be the same as it is for someone with insurance. This is demonstrated in “The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks,” since Henrietta was a poor, black woman, they

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