Profit Vs. Human Being

2149 Words 9 Pages
Profit vs. Human Being

Regarding a medical breakthrough like Henrietta Lacks ' cells, there are many ethical considerations that follow. In the 1950s informed consent was not an option. People were being used for medical research without having any knowledge of it. Henrietta Lacks ' is where it all began because her cells were different than everyone else’s. While Henrietta Lacks died her cells did not and are of great value to medical research today. When putting a face and name to immortal cells it raises many ethical questions. The most important ethical question is whether it is fair to continue research on living cells, that have greatly impacted science, while their family receive no profit from research?
The relevant facts that
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Cloning technology was one of the technologies to be developed using HeLa, which then lead to other advances in research that required single cells in culture. “The early cell culture and cloning technology developed using HeLa helped lead to many later advances that required the ability to grow single cells in culture, including isolating stem cells, cloning whole animals, and in vitro fertilization” (Skloot 75). The start of major advancements in science heavily relied on the immortal factor of the HeLa cells. Due to these cells despite the fact that it was discovered mistakenly, medical professionals can diagnose down syndrome and other genetic diseases. With the help of these HeLa cells scientists could finally distinguish the exact amount of chromosomes each person possesses. HeLa cells then became a commodity for medical research for large cell quantities. So who deserves these million dollar profits being made off of such a commodity that can change lives and alter the future of others? It should be the person that the originals cells came from and in this case it should be received by the Lacks ' family. The HeLa cell line did not just make one contribution to science it developed several that still until this day impacts the lives of so …show more content…
According to the Henrietta Lacks, HeLa Cells, and Cell Culture Contamination in the archives of pathology and laboratory medicine HeLa cells showed researchers the way cancer works with DNA. “HeLa cells have been shown to contain human papillomavirus (HPV) 18 DNA11 and HPV18-positive HeLa cells have been linked to changes in microRNA expression... Routine Papanicolaou smear screening may not detect rapidly progressive cervical carcinomas; the new HPV vaccine holds the promise of preventing these tumors”. The HeLa cells were essential to creating cancer medications such as, vincristine and tamoxifen. HeLa cells opened up the door to prevent cervical cancer by 70 percent according to Skloot. Due to the HeLa cell line doctors could determine what precancerous cells looked like by performing pap smears on women. These cells affected the vast majority of women who can now receive the HPV vaccine. The HPV vaccine reduces their chances of contracting most cervical cancers. To emphasize the dependence on the HeLa cells the CDC provides a statistic of how the HPV vaccine impacts women today.“Every year, about 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,000 women die from this disease in the U.S.” (HPV Vaccine Information For Young

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