At the age of 31, Henrietta Lacks went to John Hopkins Hospital for unusual aching and bleeding in her abdomen. The physician, Howard Jones, diagnosed Henrietta Lacks with cervical cancer. However, the radiation treatment did not help and she died at Johns Hopkins Hospital on October 4, 1951 (The Biography).
The author of “The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks”, Rebecca Skloot, created a sense of curiosity within her audience by starting off the book including descriptions of Henrietta. She states that not many people know about all that she has done for the human race medically and I believe this intrigues readers
Although HeLa cells were a great advancement, they also brought a lot o controversy. Still today, people are trying to figure out if it was right of Dr. Gey to take the cells without her permission. Henrietta’s family also had no idea all of these scientific experiments and advancements were happening with their relatives cells. The Lacks family was very poor and did not receive any money from Henrietta’s cell line. More than twenty years later, her daughter-in-law met someone from the National Cancer Institute who recognized her surname. He told her that he was working with cells from a woman name Henrietta Lacks. The daughter in law recognized this name and told Mrs. Lacks son, “Part of your mother, it’s alive!” (Grady). The family was shocked
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a wholesome story about hope, science, and coming together as a family in a new, strange environment. The story consists of the author: Rebecca Skloot, endeavoring on a lifechanging journey which spans states, as well as time periods. The main struggle of the story is John Hopkin’s use of Henrietta’s Lacks’ cells without her knowledge. After Henrietta’s death, the scientific community receives these cells, and begins to make groundbreaking advances in the fields of medicine, cancer research, and virology. The main conflict in the story is what the family should receive in terms of compensation for Henrietta’s cells. The plot continues to thicken when Henrietta’s daughter: Deborah, begins to discover more about her mother’s past, as well as her mother’s cells effects on most, if not all of humanity.
Skloot first heard about Henrietta almost thirty years ago, as she explains that she “was sixteen and sitting in a community college biology class” (8). Although Henrietta’s immediate relatives were hesitant to speak with outsiders, Skloot was very stubborn to let the world know the Lacks family’s story. Not every author would wait years for an interview, yet the content and research in “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” was carefully constructed over nearly a decade. While Skloot’s research is very thorough, however, the accuracy of her sources can sometimes be questionable. A primary source of information that is used throughout the book comes from an old man named Cootie. He is quoted as he mutters “‘I know I got some information on Henrietta in here somewhere,’ … from under the mattress” (Skloot 62). However, referencing Cootie only leaves a minor blemish on Skloot’s otherwise detailed research and does not heavily detract from the content of the
The book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is about a poor African American woman, Henrietta Lacks, who died of cervical cancer in the 1950‘s. During her treatment, the doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital found that her cells were immortal. A sample of her cells were taken from her without her permission and used in research and some experiments. Those cells were named HeLa cells. She was treated for her cancer but died because the doctors waited too long to treat her. In this essay, I want to argue about how the experiments done with Henrietta’s cells were unethical and how doctors only wanted them for their needs. The doctors defend themselves because, unlike now, they didn’t have laws to protect the patients.
Society ensures the presence of both weak and strong individuals, not as a measure of strength, rather, a measure of the level of education as well as one’s authority and ability to exercise power over others. Differences between them remain inevitable. Conflicts arise when regarding encounters between classes of individuals who embody differences in education and power, specifically in the medical field where all individuals must place their trust in the hands of experts of the field. Written in the early part of the 20th century and set as an expedition throughout the life of one of the most influential individuals in scientific history, Rebecca Skloot presents the contemporary biography The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and evokes sympathy
Abstract: Henrietta Lacks was born in Virginia on August 1, 1920. In 1941 she married her first cousin David Lacks. A mother of five, she went to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland on January 29, 1951, because she felt a knot in her stomach. Her family and her assumed she was pregnant, which was true, but after giving birth to her son she started to bleed abnormally. She was then referred to Johns Hopkins hospital where she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. The doctors treated her with radiation therapy and cut out samples from her cervix, these cells became known as the HeLa cells and have had an immense impact on medicine throughout history.
Further, the issue of confidentiality is compounded by the fact that Henrietta was deceased at the time of the breach in confidentiality. “The dead have no right to privacy even if part of them is still alive” (Skloot, 2010, p. 211). Skloot clearly portrays the issues around the release of Henrietta’s medical records, breach of confidentiality, and the emotional impact this had on the Lacks family. Additionally, she addresses the impact that failure to inform Henrietta and her husband about the medical experimentation and questionable research that was being conducted on their eldest daughter Elsie had on the family. Furthermore, Skloot addresses examples of violations that occurred with other patients of bio-medical research, demonstrating