The Importance Of Medical Experiments

Superior Essays
The looming thought of human experimentation was enough to deter some individuals from going to receive the medical care that they needed for their well-being. The thought that those that were trusted people in the medical field have the power to preform unethical experiments on them while they were in their care was enough to let them live with whatever ailment that they had. Several doctors abused the trust that was given to them for their own curiosities. Those curiosity driven procedures led to many medical discoveries, cures, and medications. However, what was best for the patient, or volunteer, was cast aside. During the 20th century, the fear of this happening was at an all-time high, due to all the medical advancements that were trying …show more content…
Henrietta trusted the medical system when she had abnormal bleeding when it was not time for her monthly cycle. The choice to go see a doctor altered the course of medicine forever. At the time of Henrietta going to John Hopkins, the drive to get cells to exist outside of the human body was at an all-time high. Medical researchers tried to get a multitude of different cell samples to live, but they all had the same fate. The cells that were taken from the human bodies all ended up dying. These cells were taken throughout different medical procedures and tasks, most without the consent of the individual they were taken from. Desires to find the solution to cells dying outside of the body lead to this form of human experimentation, stealing of cells. In the case of Henrietta Lack, her samples of cells were taken from her in the process of a treatment for cervical cancer. Two different samples were taken from Henrietta during that treatment, one of the cancer tumor, the other of her healthy cervix. The stolen cells from her ended up being the cells that the entire medical world was looking to try and get their hands on. Henrietta's cells were able to grow outside the body, while also being able to reproduce and grow into massive quantities. George Gey was scientist that discovered the growth of her cells. In this process of experimenting with the cells, he sent them around the world for other researchers to experiment with as well. Rebecca Skloot writes, "He sent shipments of HeLa cells to researchers in Texas, India, New York, Amsterdam, and many places between. Those researchers gave them to more researchers, who gave them to more still" (Skloot 57). Allowing for the spreading of these cells permitted that not only could Gey preform experiments on human cells, now anyone that had them

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    He was injecting cancer cells into the arms of unknowing patients. Sadly this was a surprisingly common occurrence. “Since the turn of the century, politicians had been introducing state and federal laws with hopes of regulating human experimentation, but physicians and researchers always protested,” (131). In the 1950s there were still no laws requiring consent for medical procedures on patients. The only type of rules against medical experimentation on patients…

    • 1109 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Emperor of Maladies I have known a few family members and friends that have had to battle it out with cancer. It is a topic that many people in the world are oblivious to until it affects either them or their loved ones. The author, Siddhartha Mukherjee gives many disheartening stories based on patients that have been treated with different methods such as cutting out the tumors, to mixing different serums and injecting them into the body. A great deal of the methods led to only increasing the patients lives a couple of months. The author did not have an answer however he did want to inform the world about this disease that affects many human beings.…

    • 749 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The final stage is stage 4, the worst and cruelest stage. At stage 4, cancer has spread to other organs/body parts “What is Breast Cancer”. As of today, stage 4-breast cancer is incurable; doctors can extend individuals lives but cannot cure them due to how developed the cancer is. The US’ ability to discover new information and higher standards have been able to save millions of women’s…

    • 767 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hela Cells Essay

    • 1319 Words
    • 5 Pages

    In addition to all of these discoveries, researchers have also created a whole new virus by combining ribonucleic acid from the polio virus and the cytoplasm and ribosomes of HeLa cells. That was important because previously scientists had thought that viruses could only reproduce in whole cells. That…

    • 1319 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The HeLa cells were also used to learn about the intricacies of malignant cells; observing the impact of HeLa cells on immune response, learning how these malignant cells grow and spread, and even researching drugs that would suppress the growth without impacting any of the healthy cells (Skloot, 57). All of this without worrying about the death of the cells; there would always be more cells that could be grown. The research enabled by these cells led to many medical advancements. The first of these was the ability to test vaccines on these cells. When it was discovered that the cells could be infected by various viruses, such as measles and polio, it paved the way for the research of various aspects of the virus.…

    • 1496 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    (1) Cancerous tumors are distinguished by cell division, which is no longer controlled by a normal tissue. The normal cells stop dividing when they come into contact with like cells,a mechanism known as “contact inhibition".Cancerous cells lose their ability . The concept of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells and it depends on its ability to hold cell division. Usually, cancer drugs work by damaging the RNA or DNA that basically tells the cell how to replicate or copy itself in cell division. If the cancer cells don’t divide on time, they die.…

    • 853 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Mary Lasker, a health activist and philanthropist at the time, worked to raise funds for cancer research and through her efforts and campaigns, President Nixon passed the National Cancer Act of 1971. With more funding and public support, cancer research was optimistic and promising. Until one day in 1974, Walter Nelson Rees, a cell culture expert discovered widespread contamination of cell lines by HeLa. HeLa cells were so aggressive that even the slightest contamination would render a cell culture useless (Culliton 1974). By this time, HeLa was so widely distributed that they even affected cancer research in other countries.…

    • 870 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Each year, 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer, another 7.6 million will die of cancer. Now imagine a cell that has the potential to change the world of medical treatment completely-- a single cell that has the ability of saving and restoring countless lives. Embryonic stem cell (ESC) research is a highly debated topic, which numerous people view as unethical due to the way some critics believe these cells are obtained; others view ESC research as the next step in medical advancement (Neal 1). What are embryonic stem cells? As their name suggests, ESCs come from a fertilized embryo.…

    • 1267 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Until about two days later, when they start to grow uncontrollably. Later in 1951, the cells became popular and everyone wanted them. Gey started sending HeLa cells to many different researchers around the world. Henrietta’s cancer cells spread rapidly in her body as they did in the lab. She had rounds of radiation and x-ray therapy, but she didn't survive her disease.…

    • 899 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Fetal Consent Case Study

    • 1276 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Doing so will allow them to learn their patients more, and therefore connect better with them. On the other hand, doctors like Dr. George Gey performed work behind his patients’ backs. His relationship with his patients was not very great whatsoever. This caused so many problems with his credibility, his respect from others, and he received negative publicity for this. These two contrasting ideas prove that the relationship of a doctor and his patient is crucial in the outcome of scientific testing on human tissue.…

    • 1276 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays