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Cooperation And Conflict In The Henrietta Lacks Story

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Structural violence has been a major topic in this course “Cooperation and Conflict”, and it has also been one topic that I can relate to and speak on. In the Henrietta Lacks story, structural violence is a big theme. Doctors completely violated her human and civil rights as a patient by not informing her of certain procedures that were done on her body. They took small slices of a cell of hers to research and run tests on it. Though these cells aided in great developments in research and medicine, Henrietta at the very least should have been informed of what exactly they would do it. Also, by that I do not mean in medical terms that she would not understand, but the doctor taking the time to explain to her in a way that she would at least…show more content…
Though her cells made many advancements in medicine, simply informing the family would have been the respectable and responsible thing for the doctor to do. The statement that Henrietta beat science was made and at first I had no idea what was meant by this. Her cells had multiplied by 400 times her body weight after the cells were taken and stored. The cell biologists had no idea how or why. The more time that was spent studying these cells, the more questions that arose in the quest to find the cure for cancer, the greatest in medicine were being defeated by the cells of an African American woman. Therefore, when the statement is made that Henrietta beat science, I take it as her condition and cells were so complex that even the greatest minds could not figure out why they did what they did. She still contributed to many other solutions that could save millions and billions of…show more content…
The distrust between the African American community and white medicine has been a factor far before Henrietta, but her story definitely contributed to the long history. Had Henrietta been white, I am almost sure that she would be a national hero and historical figure. Through this course was my first time even coming across this story, but I want more to know about it. If the cure for cancer is ever found it would only be fair to give Henrietta over half the credit. Nevertheless, we are still making strides towards racial equality as it goes hand in hand with informed consent. We have to educate more African Americans on what informed consent is so that there are no more cases like Henrietta. You have the right to know what is being done or not being done to your body, and you should have the option to not only decide your fate, but understand the pros and cons of each
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