Hela Cells

1613 Words 7 Pages
HeLa cells are an immortal cell culture line that have been used to help develop the polio vaccine, understand the effects of radiation, cancer, viruses, and helped lead to advances in cloning and gene mapping. These cells came from one terminally ill woman, Henrietta Lack, who didn’t even know they had been taken from her until she was on her death bed. The author, Rebecca Skloot details the origin and use of the HeLa cell line in her book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta lacks”. Henrietta was a black woman with a little more than that of an elementary education. She had never even taken a science class, so when she had to get treatment for her aggressive cancer she was lost, because she couldn’t understand the details of what the doctors …show more content…
How much information should doctors have to give their patients before a procedure takes place? It seems that when you go to a doctor that they should tell you about the disease you have, and how it will affect you, and how long you can live or the expected duration of treatment. However, this is coming from a white middle class girl in 2014. Looking back, Henrietta was a black woman born in 1920 and started seeking treatment for cervical cancer in 1951. This of course raises the issue of how poorly educated most blacks were, the role of white supremacism, and many other issues. Still, Deborah, who wanted to educate herself about her mother’s issues, would spend hours trying to decode one simple sentence from a book about science. So what does that tell you? Should the doctors have to break down an idea or condition to simple enough terms that a fifth grader can understand them? What is the extent of their duty to get informed consent? It seems to me that the patient should be informed about everything - about what disease they have, what the treatment is, what symptoms they may already have and what could happen if they refuse treatment or decided to not follow up. This should be done regardless of any boundaries, the doctor or nurse needs to go out of their way to make sure that people understand what they are doing to …show more content…
The participants were given free health exams, free meals, and burial insurance. The catch was that none of the subjects knew that they had syphilis, and many of them were not given proper treatment for the syphilis. These subjects were not given any treatment because they had no use to the doctors until they were dead so that they could then perform autopsies and then develop a cure from the information that they found. This is probably the most disgraceful thing that you could ever do. How can doctors be okay with leaving people to die, without even telling them why or not even telling them they are sick? This is the foundation for federal laws now, days, because while doctors and scientists took the Hippocratic Oath, this does not mean that they had to follow it by law and practice it. Leaving the doctors up to their own devices, and following every whim they have so if you were given a chance to make millions of dollars or would be able to change the face of medicine and the consequences were that you might have to tell a patient about something and risk them saying no. That is mighty tempting for many people and most doctors and scientists, especially when there was no accountability for them to treat patients right, and informing them of what they were

Related Documents

Related Topics