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”.
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.
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.
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
Rebecca Skloot develops the idea that poverty comes with many difficult situations, in the book, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks". True, Henrietta and her family were poor, could barely afford their medical bills, and they didn 't get the extended care that they deserved. You will learn how being poor can change your life and what is done with it .
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.
Bushra Pirzada Professor Swann Engh-302 October 4th 2015 Rhetorical Analysis: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks written by Rebecca Skloot tells the story of a woman named Henrietta Lacks who has her cervical cancer. It further goes to tell the audience how Henrietta altered medicine unknowingly. Henrietta Lacks was initially diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1951; however, the doctors at John Hopkins took sample tissues from her cervix without her permission. The sample tissues taken from Henrietta’s cervix were used to conduct scientific research as well as to develop vaccines in the suture.
An essential part of modern society relied on trust, especially the trust of doctors and scientists. People had the right to make an informed decision about their bodies and body parts. People had a right to their body parts, both attached and cell samples collected by doctors. The actions that the medical professions made will continue to affect future generations in both positive and negative ways. In the contemporary biographical novel, the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot used logical opinions to argue about the importance of consent to reveal the lack of morality from those in the medical field which continues to persist today. Scientists and doctors made great discoveries with the HeLa cells of Henrietta Lacks. The family of Henrietta Lacks had to live with the aftermath of decisions made by doctors and
Nonetheless, the consequences of this perspective is normal people like you and me are perceived to see Henrietta Lacks and her family as an object in a museum. The consequences of this could be disrespecting the family like many other writers and scientific researchers did many times before Rebecca Skloot. They saw Henrietta Lacks and her family as a road side-show because of how the family was perceived and privacy of the family was put in danger as a result of the consequences given on how the media and scientific community saw Henrietta Lacks and the Lacks family. Thereafter, Rebecca Skloot conducted herself in a different way she tried to get to know the family. She was actually interested in the story of Henrietta Lacks and her family.
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
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.
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!