Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks Report

Improved Essays
Racism and medical ethics is how this book was given life. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a novel based on the woman whose cancer cells would become one of the greatest assets to modern medicine. Her cells would become known simply as HeLa cells: taken from her first and last name. The book does more than just focus on her and her cancer cells, it shows what life was like for her family after the HeLa cells became a groundbreaking discovery in medicine. Without the racism of 1950s south the world would not have a cure for polio. By removing the human aspect of the cells, the world was given a gift of maybe one day using Hela for a cure to all. Rebecca Skloot came up with concept for the book only after doing research of her own. Concluding …show more content…
The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks is good in the way of bringing the human aspect back to the cells that more than 50 years later are referred to as Hela cells and are a cash cow for the medical industry today. I do not like how it seems too fluffy with extra about the family. It seems that she was creating a sympathetic side to the family to bring in the extra cash for her. I support the idea and there should have been less of the family. Skloot is a medical journalist first and that is what the book should have included more of and less of the family after the death of Henrietta Lacks. Rebecca Lacks does bring to light that even in the medical science for the health of all racism does exist even when it comes to a person’s cells. The medical ethics about cashing in for other people’s health would become a huge part of the writing in the …show more content…
The 1950s were not any different than the previous decades for procuring cells and tissues to be examined and studied. Henrietta Lacks cells were taken from her while she was still living so that was the perfect loophole after the doctor that took the biopsy made the discovery of her miracle cells “In 1951 the law was clear that performing an autopsy or removing tissue from the dead without permission was illegal, but no law or code of ethics required doctors to ask permission before taking tissue from living patients, no matter the intended use” (Beach 1). By Henrietta Lacks also signing the waiver for allowing the doctors to do what is necessary to help her medical. After her death she voided any way for her children to receive a payment from her cells.
Her children still gain from their mother not in money but in health. The different required pills they take to improve their health is thanks to their mother. Now it may seem not ethical to get monetary gain from cells that help cure cancer and different diseases. The medical industry has used the HeLa cells to its advantage in exploiting the use for its gain through untold profits. As Rebecca Skloot mentions in the novel “There’s no record of Hopkins and Gey accepting money for HeLa cells, but many for-profit cell banks and biotech companies have.” (Skloot

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