The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks Essays

1312 Words 6 Pages
While we had been discussing and reading about the ethical, legal, and social implications of various different cases throughout the semester, reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks allowed me to see it from a whole new perspective. While I have learned quite a bit from all the discussion, the many assigned readings, and the overabundance of bioethics reference readings, this book truly carried my attention from cover to cover, pulling me into Henrietta’s family while sneakily telling me about Johns Hopkins research discovery of immortal cells. It showed me that ethics and legality aren’t t always be considered together (but they should), and how while ethical concerns should be permanently intertwined with social concerns, they are often not as the general public tends to ignore everything not under scrutiny of mass media coverage. Aside from the obvious potential legal implications from taking Henrietta Lacks’ cervical cancer cells and reproducing them on a global scale, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks also mentioned several other questionably legal situations: such as Alexis Carrel- a surgeon-, and Chester Southam - a doctor. Of course there are also the ethical implications to the research presented in this book the biggest being the removal of Henrietta’s cells, but also included informed consent, right to self-determination, and privacy/confidentiality. My goal in this paper is to show how by using the social aspect of Henrietta Lacks (including strong…

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