In “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, Rebecca Skloot analyzes ethics in past scientific/medical studies, specifically Henrietta Lack’s case, to alter the way the reader sees how modern medicine came to be. Doctors took the cancer cells of a young, poor, African-American woman diagnosed with cervix cancer in 1951, without her consent, and used them to grow an immortal cell line that has made millions of dollars and is still used today. Skloot shows the effect Henrietta’s infamous cells (HeLa cells) have had on the scientific community presently and show the negative effect it has had on her family. The author wants the audience be aware of the how an essential cell line used in research was created with great ethical injustice. Skloot wants audiences to learn a little from Henrietta’s story and at least be aware of the ethical scientific issues today to form their own opinion.
The doctors at Johns Hopkins created a billion dollar industry on her cells and there was no compensation for the family. In Rebecca Skloots book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” she talks about how Henrietta signed a consent form allowing her doctors to perform whatever procedure for the care and treatment of her cancer but there is no indication that of permission from Henrietta that allowed the doctors to take samples of her for medical research. Because of Henrietta’s socio-economic status, she might of felt as if she had no choice and she wasn’t educated enough to ask questions about what was being done to her. The same goes for her family they had no idea what procedure were being done on her and it was this vulnerability that the family faced exploitation. The ethical and moral obligation of
Henrietta Lacks was an African-American woman whose cells from her cancerous tumor led to many medical advances in the world. The cells led to the HeLa line, which have a crucial role in drug development and toxicity testing (Hunt). Prior to the HeLa line, it was proven impossible to grow human cells in a laboratory for any length of time. The conflict in this amazing discovery is that her cells were taken from her body for medical purposes without her permission. People argue that people have to be given legal ownership of their tissues and given money for them or medical advances made using the tissues.
People all around the world have no chance of surviving simple to treat diseases or sicknesses due to the fact that they can’t afford health insurance. In the book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” it says “...the last thing he remembered before falling unconscious under the anesthesia was a doctor saying his mother’s cells were one of the most important things that had ever happened to medicine. Sonny woke up more than $125,000 in debt because he didn’t have health insurance to cover the surgery (Lacks 306).” This quote shows how people that can’t afford health insurance because they are poor are expected to pay the money for the surgery. His own mother’s cells were the biggest breakthrough in medicine history but her son couldn’t afford health insurance.
The first editorial is in favor of the universal healthcare system. The author supports the claim with statistical reasoning when presenting the argument. The editorial focuses more on facts, logic, and reasoning rather than emotions and opinions.
What are the specific issues raised in the book—legally and ethically? Think about the 1980s John Moore case: the appeal court decision and its reversal by the California Supreme Court. Issues that raised in the book are race issues, the legality of taking adventage of patients who’s family aren’t able to fight for the rights and benefit of their cells. According to California supreme court, Under the duty to obtain informed consent, “a doctor must disclose his intent in using a patient for research and economic gain.” 6.
This would also stop medical bankruptcies, improve public health and reduce overall healthcare spending to name a few, (healthcare.procon.org, n.d.). The con argument is this results in socialism and is the individual’s responsibility, it’s not the governments role to secure healthcare and this would decrease the quality and availability of healthcare and increase debt and spending, (healthcare.procon.org,
Statistically, African American women in the United States suffer from complications or death 243 percent more than white women during maternity. This is a common occurrence that many women and children face, but shouldn’t have too. Rebecca Skloots book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, is an example of the inequality shown to African-American women in the medical world. Specifically, the unequal medical care Henrietta Lacks received, which many other black women experienced. In her book, Skloot suggests that African-American women suffer from psychological effects after receiving unequal medical care, do not receive equal medical treatment during maternity, and are more likely to die from maternal complications. Researchers agree, stating that these are common occurrences in the medical industry.
Non fiction novels are great ways to make people aware of real life issues that happen everyday. People face poverty issues, racial issues, and environmental issues everyday of their life and are affected more than others. For example the environment is affected because of the different things people do in their everyday lives, like things that deal with fossil fuels and gas. Another example is race and how people are treated because of their specific race or religion. Issues like these are happening all around the world and most likely can be found in a nearby non-fiction novel.
“Was It Illegal for Doctors to Take Cells from Henrietta Lacks Without her Consent?” How can you take cells from a human being and treat them as clothes that you’re just selling. In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot told the story of the woman behind the famous cell line and the fact that her family did not know about Lacks’ immortal cells until more than 20 years after her death. Some believe it was legal to take Mrs. Lacks cells, while others disagree and say it’s illegal. It was definitely illegal for the doctors and scientist to take Henrietta’s cells without her consent.
The final violation of ethical principles, in the story of Henrietta Lacks, was the violation of justice. Without the contribution of Henrietta’s cells, many discoveries and vaccines, such as the vaccine that conquered Polio, would not have made their pivotal breakthroughs in biomedical research. Her direct and unknowingly, supportive contribution helped save many people’s lives all over the world. Unfortunately, her named did not receive the recognition it deserved, and her family never received any compensation for profits made from direct use of her
This part of the novel begin with the family discovering that their mother’s cells were being used in laboratories everywhere in the world. Her cells were used to help develop drugs for treating, herpes, polio, leukemia, influenza, hemophilia and Parkinson’s disease. Also, they were used to study lactose digestion, sexually transmitted diseases, appendicitis, human longevity, and mosquito mating (Skloot, 4). Part three also covers the amount of profits that were made from HeLa and how much the Lacks family struggled with numerous amounts of medical conditions and other adversities that could have all been alleviated with their share of the HeLa cell line profit. The chapters also cover a few legal cases and once important case (Moore vs. Regents of the University of California) that cause the Supreme Court to conclude that human tissues after being left in the doctor's office, no longer belonged to the patients, rather is in the ownership of doctor or the hospital.
but it also greatly reduces the administrative and non-medical waste that has no benefits to patients. Pursuit of profit and wealth should not be in a field that is meant to care for others; companies and corporations are maximizing on patients’ misfortunes and are therefore shortchanging the quality of care in order to get the most money. This was warned by Maimonides in 1190 AD when he said “Do not allow thirst for profit, ambition for renown, and admiration to interfere with my profession for these are the enemies of truth and can lead me astray in the great task of attending to the welfare of your creatures” (Nelson, Alan). Despite the fact that a single payer universal healthcare system is not advocated by any current presidential candidate, it is both morally and economically the most sound system.
One major theme authors universally write their stories around concern the power of human relationships. Though writers may take different paths to communicate this, the strength that comes from these unique connections that exist between individuals resonates with everyone. Authors clearly articulate through a myriad of rhetorical devices that maintaining relationships is a fundamental part in personal growth and allows for a stronger sense of self. In finding companionship and comradery. people become capable of evolving and arriving at better understandings of who they are.