The Ethics in Biomedical Research

1110 Words5 Pages
Rebecca Skloot is a writer specialized in science and medicine. In her first book, Skloot writes about Henrietta Lacks’ life story. Henrietta Lacks was a strong African-American woman, who died because of cancer without knowing that her cancer cells were immortal and very useful for medical research. Her family lived a poverty life without health care, when her cell was commercialized all around the world. That condition was related to biomedical research’s ethics and how consent form should be used properly. “Henrietta Lacks was born in Roanoke, Virginia, on August 1, 1920” (Skloot 40). Her mother died when she delivered her tenth child. Because of losing her mother, Henrietta ended up stayed with her grandfather. However, Henrietta…show more content…
She still worked on tobacco. She had no sign of weakness even though she had radium in her body. However, when she came back to hospital for a check-up, the medical team found out that her body was already taken over by tumor. Her diaphragm, bladder, and lungs was a home for the cancer cells. The worst thing was her kidney could not filter toxins in her body; it made her poisoned her own body. She died on October 4, 1951.
HeLa has been used in medical research after Henrietta’s death. However, Henrietta’s family did not know that her cell was taken and used that way. “Her cells were part of research into the genes that cause cancer and those that suppress it; they helped develop drugs for treating herpes, leukemia, influenza, hemophilia, and Parkinson’s disease” (Skloot 22). HeLa was commercialized but Henrietta’s family lived in poverty without any health care. Henrietta’s family has not received any money, while people gained profit from selling HeLa. Henrietta’s children received only a little education and some of them had health issue. “Henrietta’s kids grew up in a black neighborhood that was one of the poorest and most dangerous in the country” (Skloot 26). Actually, any tissue that has been taken from body is no longer yours anymore. It will be really hard to trace the identity of each tissue and then distribute the benefits gained from it. However, it is important to let the patient and the families know if there is any removal of tissues when the
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