Henrietta Lacks was a poor woman with middle school education have made the greatest medical contributions. Henrietta lacks had made one of the greatest medical contribution because her cells were growing and dividing rapidly. Henrietta Lacks cells were taken from a cervical-cancer biopsy. The HeLa cells (Henrietta Lacks cells) help accomplish amazing things in the medical fields. The HeLa cells had helped accomplish advancement in medicine. The Hela cells that were taken from her tumor when she was undergoing surgery have been accountable of the medical advances. The polio vaccine, chemotherapy, cloning, gene mapping and IVF were the advancement in medicine. These health breakthroughs were possible because of Henrietta Lacks. The scientists
The novel The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by author Rebecca Skloot is about a black woman whose cells were used by doctors to study medicine without her knowledge or her permission. Rebecca Skloot first heard of Henrietta Lacks when she was 16-years-old in her college biology class. Her professor, Donald Defler, mentioned Henrietta briefly during his lesson about cells. Defler talked about how Henrietta’s cells helped scientists learn all they know about cell and cell culture today, and allowed them to develop disease-fighting drugs to combat herpes, leukemias, influenza, hemophilia and Parkinson’s disease. Although Defler did acknowledge the fact that it was Henrietta’s cells who helped change the future of medicine, all Defler added was that she was a black woman. Skloot was unsatisfied with this information and she wanted to know more about Henrietta Lacks, such as “Where was she from?... Did she know how important her cells were? Did she have any children?” (Skloot 4). The problem was, though, that no one cared to find out anything about the person whose cells were famous all over the world. Most people, in fact, did not even realize that her name was Henrietta Lacks, and not Helen Lane. All people knew about this woman was that her cancerous cells were referred to as HeLa cells. Thus, Skloot’s purpose was to inform people around the world about the life of the woman whose
In Rebecca Skloot’s novel The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the author investigates the origin of a line of “immortal cells” used for research on various diseases. The cells were immortal in the sense that they continued to multiply long after the person from whom they came passed away. This quality made them priceless in the field of medical research. The cells were called HeLa, after the person from whom the cells were initially harvested-Henrietta Lacks. As Rebecca learns more about Henrietta and her family, certain injustices in the field of public health are made apparent.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a unique story of a woman who spent her life in poverty, dealing with racism, and succumbing to cervical cancer, only to have her cells unknowingly taken and turned into the first immortal cell line grown in culture. Today, Henrietta’s cells are known all throughout science as HeLa cells, controversially in use since 1951. The author, Ms. Rebecca Skloot, spent ten long years of her own life unearthing this extraordinary story, intertwining her own journey into Henrietta’s history, and even forming bonds with some of her remaining family members. The Lacks family did not learn of her immortality until about twenty years after her passing, unaware that laboratories across the planet were filled with millions of HeLa cells. This story is sure to evoke some emotion and is a great basis for forming your own opinions on medical ethics.
The use of abstractions has become a common practice as a means to cope with the cruel realities with which humans are daily faced. It would be almost be too much to bear if every time a travesty occurred, we stopped to evaluate the weight that the people personally affected would feel by this happening to them. Oftentimes, the alternative, ignoring our empathetic responses by creating abstractions in our mind is much easier. Unfortunately, this is what happened to Henrietta Lacks. When researchers took cells from Henrietta’s cervix and created an immortal line of them entitled HeLa, the two became entirely separate entities. HeLa was a line of cells that was important to scientists, and Henrietta was no longer even a thought in their minds.
As a poor black woman from rural southern Virginia, no one would have thought Henrietta Lacks would hold the key to various medical advancements and the production of wealthy scientific industries. Henrietta Lacks had a sample of her cervical cancer cells taken from her to be cultured in 1951 and they were later named “HeLa” cells . Her cells were the first types of cells that were used continuously for experiments due to the fact that her cells were immortal. They never died and grew rapidly and uncontrollably due to their cancerous nature. Henrietta Lack’s cells have been used to create polio vaccines, have been exposed to space, have gone through nuclear testing, and have been used to understand cancer cells more effectively. Yet with all of the benefits her cells have provided to the scientific world and to those suffering from diseases, Henrietta never knew her cells were taken from her in the first place. In the book The Henrietta Lacks Legacy Grows, it was revealed that “Henrietta Lacks was not asked for permission to use samples of her tumour for research”(849 Greely & Cho). This meant that Henrietta’s family knew nothing of the cells being distributed and used around the world for research. The discovery opened up the complex, ethical issues of medical research. The distribution of Henrietta Lack’s cells not only invaded the privacy of the family but also defied human consent which is extremely unethical.
Henrietta Lacks is not a common household name, yet in the scientific and medical world it has become one of the most important and talked names of the century. Up until the time that this book was written, very few people knew of Henrietta Lacks and how her cells contributed to modern science, but Rebecca Skloot aimed to change this. Eventually Skloot was able to reach Henrietta’s remaining family and through them she was able to tell the story of not only the importance of the HeLa cells but also Henrietta’s life.
Prior to the successful cultivation of HeLa cells, failure was met with every attempt to grow cells in culture. This roadblock became the focused work of Dr. George Gey of Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins served most of the impoverished black community seeking care in the immediate Maryland area. This provided a goldmine for medical research that was justified by its “generosity” and Samaritan charter. Henrietta Lacks decision to seek care for her cervical cancer unknowingly designated her as arguably the single greatest contribution to science and medicine. After the realization that human cells had finally been successfully harvested and reproduced, Dr. Gey immediately distributed the cells and his methodology to anyone who asked. As the explosion of research on HeLa cells swept across the scientific community many of Dr. Gey's colleagues urged him to publish or patent cells to take credit for his for work but his dedication to the work rather than the credit prevented him from doing much publishing if any at all. The implica...
Henrietta Lacks was a strong African-American woman, who died because of cancer without knowing that her cells were immortal and very useful for medical research. Her family lived a poverty life without health care, when her cell was commercialized all around the world. How this can be happened? It related to the ethics of biomedical research and the real meaning of consent.
Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman from Baltimore, Maryland who was a part of the lower class and therefore was not accepted by many hospitals to treat her cervical cancer. Fortunately, Johns Hopkins offered Lacks free treatment through their public ward, even though this treatment at times may not have been the most meticulous. In January of 1951, doctors discovered the large tumor in Henrietta’s cervix. This was shortly after her daughter, Deborah, was born in 1950. Deborah never truly knew who her mother was as Henrietta passed away in October of 1951. Because the treatments and services offered by the Hopkins doctors were free for Henrietta and other patients, it was expected that their bodies and cases could be used for research and this was their payment.