Was The Unconsented Research On Henrietta Lacks Lawful?

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Polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization, cloning, cancer improvement, gene mapping, HPV and HIV vaccines are only few of the abundant discoveries, saved lives, and scientific advancements, and ethical improvements owed to Henrietta Lacks, aka. “the modern mother of medicine" and her immortal cells. Henrietta lacks a African American woman, born in 1920 in Roanoke, Virginia, by the age of 20 was married with two children and they later mover to for work where Henrietta and her husband had three more children. In 1951 Henrietta began to experience excruciating pain and abnormal bleeding in her uterus later confirmed as cervical cancer at John Hopkins. During her consented autopsy the doctors operating on Henrietta took a piece of her biopsy thus …show more content…

Her cell line is most commonly known as HeLa: He from the first two letters of Henrietta and La from the first two letters of Lacks. Despite this seeming positive outcome, Henrietta, specifically her family were not informed until 20 years after Henrietta's fatal cancer experience. Raising the inquiries: Was this ethical? Should the Lacks family be compensated for their mistreatment? Was the unconsented research on Henrietta lacks lawful? Who make the decisions concerning HeLa cells? Lastly and arguably the most important, How does this affect future medical procedure and discoveries concerning human …show more content…

Although she relocated in her twenties to the north she still experienced racial disparity specifically through her medical experience. John Hopkins was a hospital with a unique mission, in retrospect to the time in which it was founded, this mission is simply put by a scholarly article on the subject, “to provide care to the sick and indigent ‘without regard to sex, age, or color’”. With the socio economic status and race of Henrietta this hospital was one of the least segregated and most willing to provide car for Henrietta and people like her. Despite this seemingly positive improvement in her story, what went on in the hospital and specifically what took place with the story of Henrietta lacks was not right or ethical. Henrietta and many others were in fact segregated into color wards, although the segregation took place she received the standard care of that time. According to Rebecca Skloot, an award winning writer most famous for her novel on Henrietta Lacks “the immortal life of Henrietta lacks”, Henrietta received “top of the line’ treatment. Although given standard treatment by no means was it enjoyable, Henrietta went through many days of terrible pain, due to the severity and nature of the procedure they performed on her, her cervix were filled with in order to try and shrink the size of the tumor. Evidently this procedure

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