'Medical Ethics In Henrietta Lacks'

Henrietta Lacks was an extremely interesting woman in history. She was an African American who thought she was ordinary like everyone else, but she could not have been more wrong. Little did she know her name would become an everlasting legacy that would advance medical science and propel it forward to help people and save lives. Her story began because she started feeling bad and went to a doctor at John’s Hopkins medical hospital complaining of a pain and bleeding in her vagina. A quote to support this, and this is what happened during her first visit to John Hopkins hospital. “I got a knot on my womb,” she told the receptionist. “The doctor need to have a look.” For more than a year Henrietta had been telling her closest girlfriends something …show more content…
A quote to highlight the misuse of medical ethics is “TeLinde disagreed— he believed carcinoma in situ was simply an early stage of invasive carcinoma that, if left untreated, eventually became deadly. So he treated it aggressively, often removing the cervix, uterus, and most of the vagina” (Skloot 165). This was unethical because there was no proven way to tell if this was the best treatment method, he did it just because he thought it was best. This is an example of a doctor using his own judgment, but not for the right reasons, nothing was proven and he did the treatment anyways. Another quote to highlight this issue is when Henrietta’s cells are taken without her knowledge “though no one had told Henrietta that TeLinde was collecting samples or asked if she wanted to be a donor—Wharton picked up a sharp knife and shaved two dime-sized pieces of tissue from Henrietta’s cervix: one from her tumor, and one from the healthy cervical tissue nearby” (Skloot 190). Her cells were taken without her knowledge and consent. This breaks the rules of medical ethics. For example Henrietta’s family was never notified concerning the cells and their profound impact, “’Gardenia’s brother-in-law told Bobbette that Henrietta’s cells had been all over the news lately because they’d been causing problems by contaminating other cultures. But Bobbette just kept shaking her head and saying, “How come nobody told her family part of her was still alive?”’ (Skloot 940). No one told her family about her cells or that her cells were still growing. No one told her family that there was even a sample of Henrietta’s cells taken. This is just another example of the misuse of medical ethics. The doctor is supposed to share everything with family regarding the

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