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Essay On The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lack

Decent Essays
In today's world medicine is very advanced, but it was never always like this. New techniques and treatments are constantly being developed and tested. However, how can scientist and doctors be sure that these forms of treatment are safe for human use? How are these trials conducted and how do scientists and doctors know it's safe for humans to test? In the novel The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack they performed an experimental treatment for Henrietta’s cancer, but it was not as safe as they thought. In the many years since Henrietta was treated doctors and scientist have performed experiments that vastly improved the medicinal world, but how do they go about making these improvements.
Clinical trials, or a test before a treatment is approved to be safe for human consumption, have been dated back to the biblical times. Recorded in the “Book of Daniel” a king and military leader performed the first known clinical trial (Evolution of Clinical Research). Although his experiment was nowhere near what we conduct in today's society scientist, doctors, and other researchers before them have learned through trial and error, and they have used clinical trials to study diseases. In 1774 James Lind followed through with the first clinical trial of the modern era studying scurvy.
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Instead of the trials being conducted by a anonymous group of people only one specific person is treated. The treatment is meant to make that individual patient and is paid for by the patient and their family, however they choose to pay. The decision to follow through with the treatment is made by the patient when it is decided that they need it, and they do not directly need consent. The treatments can be available to the public through product labeling, although the patients medical records cannot be released to the public as they are
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