Henrietta Lacks

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    Henrietta Lacks

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    Piecing Together a Fragmented Understanding of Henrietta Lacks In the foreword to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot discusses her efforts and struggles in attempting to capture and to present clearly the story and narrative of Henrietta Lacks. Skloot acknowledges in the Prologue that there is “no way of knowing exactly how many of Henrietta’s cells are alive today” (Skloot, 2). All of the numbers are estimates, guesses, or attempts, and the idea that there is no way of knowing for sure underlies much of the narrative. Worlds apart from Henrietta, the majority of the knowledge about her is partial, incomplete, or biased. Each statistic, article, or conversation about Henrietta or HeLa, however, is a continued attempt: an…

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    Henrietta Lacks, a farm-girl from Clover became the first “immortal” human in the history of science. Diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1951, Henrietta had only a seventh-grade education, but in her later years became the best thing that happen to the world of genomics and research thanks to her cells. Doctor Telinde, who was treating Henrietta for cervical cancer, took samples of Henrietta’s cervix, without her knowledge and sent those cells to Dr. Gey for further study. Thanks to Dr. Gey and…

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    of the common society. The book, The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks, illustrates the life of a lady in that era, where she is strong and intelligent. She is one hero to discover new medicines and information for epidemics, like polio and virology, with her cells. However, her help in medical history is and still remains unnoticed by the majority due to their past history of discrimination and racism in the society. This is the main factor that caused the "theft" of Henrietta Lack 's cells:…

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    Henrietta Lacks Ethics

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    Dr. Gey's use of Henrietta Lacks cervical tissue was unethical and disrespectful to the patient. His wicked nature stole her cells without consent used the cells to make some of the most astonishing research. This immortal act of Dr. Gey, was wrong, regardless of his curiosity. Even though, he was the head of tissue culture at John Hopkins and that was his main focus, taking her cells without permission and use them to make millions of dollars displayed an improper and unprofessional behavior.…

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    Essay On Henrietta Lacks

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    “Henrietta Lack’s cells thrived. In weight, they now far surpassed the person of their origin and there would probably be more than sufficient to populate a village of Henriettas” (237). According to the quote above, the amount of cells from one woman’s body is compared to the population of one village. How could this be? Rebecca Skloot, the author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, first started learning about HeLa cells in school, but was more curious to know the origin of the cells.…

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    Essay On Henrietta Lacks

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    1. What was the chief injustice of the book? The chief injustice was the lack of informed consent and privacy violation. The scientific community was largely convinced that the HeLa cells had been donated. In reality, Henrietta Lacks, as a patient at John Hopkins, had not been informed that samples from her cervix were collected, nor had she been asked if she was interested in being a donor (p. 33). HeLa cells made large contributions to science, but they have exclusively benefitted companies…

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    The Henrietta Lacks Story

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    Describe three ethical issues raised by the Henrietta Lacks story. The three ethical issues raised by the Henrietta Lacks story are informed consent, privacy, and justice. In the medical practice today, researchers at John Hopkins University, where the HeLa cells were stored and distributed, acknowledged that in the past they did not act ethically. One can only infer that researchers cared about what it is in the best interest of science and not their patients (Kieger, 2010). Privacy refers to…

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    Henrietta Lacks Theme

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    The novel The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot deals with the theme of quest for discovery, which is evident through point of view in the novel. Skloot’s main purpose of the novel is to inform the reader of the two sides of the story behind the HeLa cells. She accomplishes her purpose by constantly searching and interviewing for information about others point of views, which relates to the theme of quest for discovery. The theme of quest for discovery has characteristics that…

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    Essay On Henrietta Lacks

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    October 4, 1951, Henrietta Lacks died, but her cells, HeLa, continue to live today. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (2010), discusses Mrs. Lacks life, her cells after she died and how her cells are still living. Success has been reached by advancing medical research of multiple vaccinations, such as a polio vaccine (Skloot, 2010), but Henrietta and her family have been disrespected by not being reimbursed for Henrietta’s contribution to medical research. Henrietta’s…

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    Henrietta Lacks Ethics

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    Ethical Mistakes Involving Henrietta Lacks Henrietta Lacks will continuously be used to further medical research. When she died in 1951, her cells were isolated creating a cell line called HeLa cells. After Lacks’ death, her cells were cloned and studied without her consent. The cells obtained from her were special because they were unusually strong cancer cells which could grow rapidly and indefinitely in the right medium (“Quick Guide to HeLa Cells,” n.d.). HeLa cells are not bound by the…

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