The Ethics Of Using Henrietta's Cells For Scientific Research?

1480 Words 6 Pages
Question 1 -Legal Issue
In this discussion, the legal issue is in regards to privacy rights. Currently, policies allow researchers to input information in a database that all organizations and/or researchers can gain access. Therefore, the privacy of the original donors becomes jeopardized because his/ her permission to release his/her information goes beyond the scope of the permission granted by the donors. By having a database that other researchers have entree to violate the donors’ right of privacy. Dues to modern technological advances, research has now crossed over any privacy that may protect any donor’s right of privacy. This discussion calls up the question on whether policies regarding privacy should change as technology advances.
…show more content…
Both NIH and the Lacks family have different perspectives regarding the ethics of using Henrietta’s cells for scientific research. According to Marc Siegel, a writer for Fox News, NIH could have decided to use Mrs. Lack’s cells for a reason society would believe to be unethical. Rather than NIH’s concern for one’s individual privacy, NIH was more concerned about society as a whole. Siegel, suggests that if the discovery could be crucial to society, then we should not place “unnecessary barriers” in the way of scientific discovery (Siegel). Therefore, NIH believes its actions were not unethical, because the institution is trying to save society as a whole. On the other hand, the Lacks family did believe NIH’s actions were unethical and raised their concern over privacy once they discovered Henrietta’s cells were used for research. The privacy of not only Mrs. Lacks but also her family was compromised when Henrietta’s genetic sequence was mapped out for the world. Therefore, questions from both sides come to play. One being should society be informed if their biopsies would be used in extensive worldwide research that could reveal personal information about the donor. Was it unethical of the researchers to wait until Henrietta’s cell research were published in a German scientific article before informing the Lacks family that Henrietta’s cells were taken in a surgery for research before she …show more content…
The question of whether the federal government should still fund continued research of HeLa cells with the lack of the donor’s consent is a major controversial issue. Privacy is an important aspect to all donors. Therefore, the federal government is urged to set forth a policy that stipulates how institutes should ones private rights, such as medical and health records.
Question 8-
As explained in number six, society will have two sides to this topic. Society will either agree that scientific discovery is more important than one’s individual privacy or vice versa. HeLa cells are a vital resource for the discovery of vaccines, treatments, and other medical techniques. Therefore, should society put aside their right of privacy to conduct crucial research that will allow discovery that will save millions of lives? On the other hand, should one family member allow access of genetic mapping of all relatives be public with only permission of one?
Question 9- Economic

Related Documents