Henrietta Lacks Of Modern Medicine

855 Words4 Pages
There is a woman who died in nineteen fifty one. However, a piece of her will live on forever. The woman whose cells wouldn’t die. She changed the face of modern medicine and her cells changed all of our lives forever. Her name was Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta Lacks was a mother, a wife, and the women who would change the world without ever knowing it. She went in to see a doctor and ended up immortal. Henrietta Lacks had two children with her first cousin David Lacks before they were married and had three more children. Henrietta went to John Hopkins Hospital and was diagnosed with cervical cancer. (Biography.com Editors, "Henrietta Lacks Biography") This is where everything changed for the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it did not…show more content…
There are so many things modern medicine would be without if those cells had not be taken and researched. Unfortunately at what expense? Henrietta’s family also did not give consent to take her cells, to continue to use them, or to publish makings of their own DNA makeup by publishing hers. Her family continued to be very poor for many years following their mothers’ death. They could not even afford adequate medical care for themselves while scientists, medical professionals, pharmaceutical companies were getting rich of the cells they stole from their mother without anyone’s knowledge or consent. (Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, 2010) Henrietta Lacks family went on living without her for more than twenty years before any of them were even told about the cells. Her husband was the first to find out. “So a postdoc called Henrietta’s husband one day. But he had a third-grade education and didn’t even know what a cell was.” (Zielinski, "Henrietta Lacks’ ‘Immortal’ Cells", 2010) The other question that has to be asked is did the doctor know what he was doing was wrong at the time? The subject of consent was not yet a thing in nineteen fifty one especially for a poor African American woman who was taken to a separate ward than the Caucasian patients. There was also very little effort into protecting her identity when they named the cells HeLa. “When some members of the press got close to finding Henrietta’s family,
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