In “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” Rebecca Skloot describes the life of an African American woman named Henrietta Lacks whose “immortal” cells changed both the field of science and her family’s lives forever. When Henrietta Lacks passed away due to cervical cancer at the young age of 31, her family accepted the fact that she was gone forever. However, little did they know that during her treatments, George Gey, a doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital, took a sample of Henrietta’s cells and named them HeLa in hopes of finding one that multiplied infinitely. Suddenly, worldwide factories began to grow HeLa and began selling them to scientists for testing. During this process, Henrietta’s husband and 5 children had absolutely no idea that Henrietta’s cells were still alive because few knew the actual name of the patient who HeLa came from. Eventually, they found out and were furious at Johns Hopkins and refused to speak to anyone who wanted information on Henrietta. Throughout the book, Rebecca Skloot struggles
In the pages of “A Conspiracy of Cells” that were available to us, there were several differences in both writing style and content, compared to Skloot’s, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” One of the biggest differences is in Michael Gold’s, “A Conspiracy of Cells,” he focuses more on the Hela cells and the research, while in Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” Skloot focuses more on the Lacks family.
HeLa cells make up the largest cell line in the modern world. They are the oldest and most commonly used line of cells in medicine. Since their development, they have served a major function in many medical projects and research. HeLa cells were grown and developed by George Guy and his team of scientists. They grew HeLa cells after obtaining a sample of cervical cancer from a woman named Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta was never aware that her cells were taken and grown, but her cancer cell go out to do amazing things. HeLa revolutionized the medicine world. It led to the development of new vaccines, and it even helped people discover things that they have never knew before. They changed everything, particularly the way research
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.
Healthcare providers took advantage of the Lacks’ uneducation. The health care providers had power over the Lacks’ family because they knew they were uneducated. When explaining things, they never took it seriously and made sure Henrietta fully understood. Near the end of the book, Zakariyya summed up how little they knew and how frustrating it was, "Everybody always saying Henrietta Lacks donated those cells. She didn't donate nothing. They took them and didn't ask [...] What really would upset Henrietta is the fact that Dr. Gey never told the family anything—we didn't know nothing about those cells and he didn't care" (169). This shows how painful it was for the family to remain uneducated about Henrietta’s cells. Something that makes this even more powerful was that Dr. Gey did not even consider telling the
Henrietta’s cells have been used for numerous studies and there have been many medical breakthroughs because of it. Her cells have been exposed to toxins, infections, zapped by radiation and have been used to test for diseases. Scientists in 1952, used “HeLa cells to help develop the polio vaccine” (Skloot, 333). A year later they were then cloned. Her cells were used to create the first animal hybrid cells. In addition in 1957, “The term “informed consent” first appears in court documents” (Skloot, 334). It doesn’t state that because of HeLa that informed consent appeared in court documents
The victim is nineteen year old Khadijah Stewart. Stewart had grown up in the south side of Richmond, Virginia (a high crime area) where she met a boy named Tommie. Both were in middle school but Tommie soon got arrested for robberies and gun charges, he was sentenced to life as a juvenile. As time goes on Stewart forms a history of dating bad boys. The main on and off again boyfriend throughout her high school years was a young man named Lionel. In High school Stewart is skipping school to hang out Lionel and his gang members. Afraid how the streets could impact Stewart, the mother moves the family to Chesterfield County, a successful middle class suburbs, to create new life. As her life is changing for the better her heart longs to maintain
She had an abusive childhood; her mother had an extreme case of agoraphobia and bipolar disorder, which often caused her to get violent. The father was an alcoholic; he had not been abusive just neglectful. Her only friend was her older sister; seven years had set them apart. She was killed while attending college seven years earlier. Five young men had been accused; but not convicted, due to lack of evidence. Two of the men had committed suicide, and the other three...
Doctors at a California university removed a man’s spleen, standard treatment for a type of leukemia, and the disease did not recur. Researchers kept the spleen cells alive in a nutrient medium. They found that some of the cells produced a blood protein that showed promise as a treatment for cancer and AIDS. The researchers patented the cells. The patient sued, claiming a share of the profits from any products derived from the cells. The California Supreme Court ruled against the patient, stating that his suit “threatens to destroy the economic incentive to conduct important medical research.” The U.S Supreme Court agreed.
Lacy Todd is my oldest, yet half-sister, who has had not only a different life style, but she had a distraught way of living and making choices that put her in the situation that she is in today. Being born to a teenaged mother, Lacy was in for a rough road ahead of her. Although her childhood was fairly normal, Lacy’s teen years and early adulthood was a time of trouble and despair. After her parents divorced when she was only sixteen, Lacy began to get into trouble in high school. For example, she was suspended for putting rat poison into a teacher’s coffee cup, and she dropped out shortly after the incident. A couple of years passed and Lacy had her first child at the age of eighteen, and she married the father, Chad Everhart, soon after. Lacy and Chad also had another child two years later. Lacy and Chad lead a normal life, but they soon found themselves in an unpleasant predicament.