PSY 305 Week 4 Ethical Principles Essay

1366 WordsMay 22, 20156 Pages
Ethical Principles Sara M. Covey PSY 305 February 25, 2015 Dr. Sheila Rapa Ethical Principles For this week’s assignment I am to discuss ethical principles, specifically the ethical principles that were violated during the research in regards to Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta Lacks was a wife and a mother of five. She was a black tobacco farmer and was a native of rural southern Virginia but a resident of Turner Station in Dundalk, MD. Henrietta had mentioned to family that she had felt a “knot” inside her while pregnant with her fifth child but her family just assumed that it was due to the pregnancy. After giving birth, Henrietta started bleeding abnormally and profusely. Her local doctor tested her for syphilis, which…show more content…
Due to the fact that Henrietta’s cells were the first human cells grown in a lab that did not die after a few cell divisions, they could be used for conducting many experiments. Her cells were considered “immortal”. This was a major breakthrough in medical and biological research. One major breakthrough was the development of a vaccine for polio. To test the vaccine the cells were quickly put into mass production in the first-ever cell production factory. Another enormous breakthrough was the successful cloning of human cells in 1955. Demand for the HeLa cells grew quickly. Since they were put into mass production, Henrietta’s cells have been mailed to scientists around the globe from “research into cancer, AIDS, the effects of radiation and toxic substances, gene mapping, and countless other scientific pursuits.” (Smith, 2002, "Wonder Woman: The Life, Death, and Life After Death of Henrietta Lacks, Unwitting Heroine of Modern Medical Science".) HeLa cells have been used to test human sensitivity to tape, glue, cosmetics, and many other products. Scientists have grown some 20 tons of her cells, and there are almost 11,000 patents involving HeLa cells. (Batts, 2010) Neither Lacks nor her family gave her physician permission to harvest the cells. At that same time, however, permission was neither required nor usually sought. (Washington, 1994) In the early 1970’s, the family of Henrietta Lacks began getting

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