The effect the discovery and creation of the HeLa cells made on the science community and Henrietta’s family had a domino effect. Both had different opinions and beliefs on the matter; this led to some difficult questions asked of the family and of the medical community. Due to the new and advanced methods of experimentation, the HeLa cells made to to the field of science, the scientific community and the media failed to remember that Henrietta and her family were not abstractions but actual people. Rebecca Skloot, however, took into account the Lack’s family, she inquired both the history of the HeLa cells as well as the Lacks family, treating them as actual people with inalienable rights.
Henrietta Lacks is not a common household name, yet in the scientific and medical world it has become one of the most important and talked names of the century. Up until the time that this book was written, very few people knew of Henrietta Lacks and how her cells contributed to modern science, but Rebecca Skloot aimed to change this. Eventually Skloot was able to reach Henrietta’s remaining family and through them she was able to tell the story of not only the importance of the HeLa cells but also Henrietta’s life.
First, the waver that Henrietta signed at John Hopkins gave permission for her doctors to (according to Skloot) (2010) “perform any operative procedures…that they deem necessary in the proper surgical care and treatment of _________________,” (pg. 31). Henrietta’s cells were taken, but not for treating her cancer. Second, because of her race and economic status, Henrietta was an easy target. . In 1951, at John Hopkins, when Henrietta received treatment at a colored operating room. Because of this segregation, The treatment was not as well and the doctors had the ability do take advantage of her but Henrietta did not have much of a choice. In the operating room, Richard TeLinde did not ask her permission to take her tissues, Even if he had, Henrietta would not have been able to say no. Skloot (2010) describes this as a time of “benevolent deception” (pg. 63), where the doctors hid information from the patients at the hospital and patients didn’t question doctors, especially when the doctors were white and the patients were black. This is what made Henrietta such a target at John Hopkins. Additionally, no one thought to tell Henrietta afterwards what George Gey had discovered about her special
A researcher George Gey was given the cells of Henrietta’s tumor for research. George Gey discovered that Henrietta’s cells were unique and did something by no means seen before; they could be kept alive and grow. Before Henrietta’s cells, cultured cells would only be able to survive a few days. More time was spent on observing and preserving Henrietta’s cells than actually using them for research. It was
Gey found that Henrietta cells were different than the usual cells. It was never happening before when Gey found a cell that grows with mythological intensity in the lab. Usually, every cell will die or survive for a while in the lab. “However, the Henrietta’s cancer cells seemed unstoppable as long as they had food and warmth” (Skloot 65). This was the first immortal human cells that they called HeLa. This name came from the first two letters of the name Henrietta Lacks.
If Ms Skloot had not been a part of the story, the book would not have been as interesting. Ms. Skloot's inclusion to the life of the Lacks family allowed the viewers to be in her shoes. The readers were able to see through the eyes of the author, as she goes on the quest to earn the trust from the Lacks and later on show the world that Hela wasn’t just a world changing cell but a person with a family and a life. The faith healing scene in page 289 would also have felt different because Skloot's existence in the scene gave it a feeling of bond that she had made with Deborah and Gary. Some other scene that made a difference because of her presence is in chapter 6. She was so eager to connect with the Lacks family. Skloot constantly calls
Finding discoveries that would greatly benefit medicine have always been difficult to achieve in cancer research. Though, everything changed on February 1, 1951, when Howard Jones discovered that Henrietta Lacks had cervical cancer. When George Gey heard of this, he took samples from Henrietta Lacks’ tumor, and found something that changed for future medical research. George Gey had noticed that Henrietta Lacks’ cancer cells was the first human cell line that could be consistently passaged. The cells were later called HeLa cells, which were named after Henrietta Lacks. Even though scientists greatly benefited from it, Henrietta Lacks, nor her family profited from it.
I think this book adds a lot of value to ethical, biological and scientific education. The book gives you a very good view on how the HeLa-cells were grown, but also especially on the human behind these cells, Henrietta Lacks. Not only is the story of the discovery of HeLa relevant for (scientific) biological education, but also for scientific research education in general. The book adds value to scientific education, in a way that the story of HeLa makes you realize what the importance of research ethics is and how complicated and unfair issues about human tissue used in research are. You secretly hear the voice of Rebecca Skloot through her writing, telling the world to threat the “donors” with dignity and justice by making decent agreements and laws about human tissue used in research. She shows her readers how big the
Due to severe pains, on January twenty-ninth, nineteen fifty-one, Henrietta went to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland where she was diagnosed with cervical cancer by Dr. Howard Jones. She was a patient in the “colored ward”. During her eight month long radiation treatments, doctors removed two dime-sized samples of her cancer-ridden cervix without ever informing her, asking her permission and letting her family know. Henrietta Lacks died of cancer a few months after her diagnosis on October fourth, nineteen fifty-one, at Johns Hopkins Hospital at the age of thirty-one, leaving behind her husband
African-American Henrietta Lacks was a mother of 5 children who was diagnosed with a malignant tumor of rather large size that was located in her cervix. This was said to be cervical cancer. She attended John Hopkins Hospital to be treated. She is famous for her cancer cells, HeLa. Dr. Gey’s took samples of each person’s cells who had cervical cancer who came to this hospital. Henrietta Lacks’ cancer cells were not like anyone else’s cells; they did not die in Dr. Gey’s lab. Her cells actually grew twice in size about every day. I do not think she was treated fairly because her family did not profit from all of the discoveries since it has had such a big impact on the medical field still today.
From the moment Dr. Gey took Henrietta's cells without her consent and knowledge, she was no longer seen as human. She became only known as cells in a test tube. She was reduced to the label put on that tube, "HeLa". No longer was she known as a mother who put her children first, a friend, or a beautiful woman who always made
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, is about a poor African American Women named Henrietta Lacks, better known as “HeLa” to the rest of the world, whose Cells taken, unbeknownst to her, revolutionized the medical field. Henrietta, originally named Loretta Pleasant, was born on August 1, 1920 in Roanoke, Virginia. After her mother’s death when she was 4 years old, her father felt incapable of taking care of her, so she was given to her grandfather and raised an old plantation house with her fist cousin, whom she ended up marrying and having four children with. Her story really starts in 1951, after she went to Johns Hopkins Hospital because of what she described a “knot” inside her. Turns out she had adenocarcinoma of the cervix (cancer of the cervix) which caused the formation of many tumors. During the treatment of her Cervical Cancer, without her consent, two tissue samples of her cervix were removed. After examination of these samples, Dr. George Otto Gey observed something “never seen
In the book, “ The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by the author Rebecca Skloot, showed the story of an African American woman who was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and her cells became the first immortal human cells. Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer in her early thirties, at Hopkins hospital, which was for families that could not afford for medical procedures and treatments. Doctors and experts at Hopkins did not take consent form Henrietta, when they took a sample of her diseased cells. Her cells later became known as HeLa cells, those cells changed the medicine industry and advanced treatments and procedures than ever before. However, her family never knew or told until many years later, people were making profit out