Why Is Henrietta Lacks Unethical

1360 Words 6 Pages
Rebecca Skloot’s book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” has been a life-changing experience for my career as a Public Health student. This book reveals a new area of medical history in which I had limited knowledge of. For instance, my knowledge of African Americans contribution to science was slight until I heard about the HeLa Cells.
One important issue that is addressed in the book is Henrietta Lack’s family and their connection with the medical world. I personally believed that Henrietta Family was taken of advantage, and many of the practices performed on Henrietta bodies were unethical. Our society would condemn many of practices that occurred during Henrietta’s time. Regardless of public opinion, medicine and research ethics has
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They did not practice autonomy, which is to address that the patient truly understands the procedure which is going to be done. Also, they took advantage of her lack of education by not informing her rights. Ignorance about one’s health can lead people to make desperate decisions concerning their health. Since Henrietta and her family did not know better, she assumed that the doctors were doing the right procedures to get her healed. Although she signed the consent form, I don’t believe Henrietta, or her family knew about what the doctors would do to her. She was treated as a science experience in my opinion. Her cells were only useful for research, while they neglected treated her. Given the information, I know about patient informed consent, I don’t believe Henrietta would’ve signed the consent form if she had all knowledge of what she was signing. One aspect to consider is the beneficence factor. The scientist did not act in a way that benefited Henrietta. They took credit for finding her cells, while her family has not compensated from the finding. I have always had an inquisitive personality by trying to investigate what informed consent form entails Depending on the treatment that is given, the form varies. In the past, I have asked a nurse to adumbrate what exactly the informed consent exactly say. One situation I was troubled about was when one nurse that gave me a consent form to sign, could not delineate the meaning of some of the words and procedures that were in the document. Doctors and nurses are needed so patients can make well-informed decision to go through with the procedure or

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