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What Is The Case Of Henrietta Lacks Unethical

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Although many are unaware of it, scientific ethics have always been a major issue, especially in the United States. This was especially the case of Henrietta Lacks and her family through the early 1950s to present day. Henrietta Lacks hurried into John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland to find out why there was a lump on her cervix. When doctors diagnosed her with cervical cancer, she filled out a form giving consent to let the doctors perform any surgery they deemed necessary. Soon after Henrietta died in October of 1951, her husband, David (Day) Lacks, signed a consent form to let them perform an autopsy on her corpse. However, neither of them knew the full details behind the forms and both thought they were agreeing to something …show more content…

Mary Kubicek, an innocent bystander, observed Henrietta’s autopsy. In Skloot’s book, Mary says, “’When I saw those tenails…I nearly fainted. I thought, Oh jeez, she’s a real person. I started imagining her sitting in her bathroom painting those toenails, and it hit me for the first time that those cells we’d been working with all this time and sending all over the world, they came from a live woman. I’d never thought of it that way’”(The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, chapter 21, The Storm p. 91). By including this quote in her book, Skloot allows readers to infer that nobody actually realized, or cared, that HeLa was not just a cell culture. She was an actual human …show more content…

Moore had hairy-cell leukemia, a rare and deadly cancer that filled his spleen with malignant blood cells until it bulged like an overfilled inner tube (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, chapter 25, Who Told You You Could Sell My Spleen? p. 199). Golde told him that the only way to get rid of the cancer was to remove his spleen for good. However, Moore became suspicious of Golde for making him take continuous trips from Seattle to Los Angeles years after his surgery. Soon, Moore found out that Golde had devoted much of the seven years since Moore’s surgery to developing and marketing a cell line called Mo (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, chapter 25, Who Told You You Could Sell My Spleen? p. 201). Unlike Henrietta and her family though, John Moore knew exactly who patented his cells. However, similarly to her, he too did not receive any of the stocks or financing, which, at the time, was estimated to be more than $3.5 million. The market value for Mo was even higher, calculated to be more than $3

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