The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

1177 WordsNov 3, 20135 Pages
Melissa Dattilo Mr. Schussler First-Year Foundations 5 December 2011 Henrietta Lacks Reflection Henrietta Lacks is a mother, wife, and scientific discovery. Henrietta began her life as a normal human, growing up on tobacco farms. In 1951, her life changed forever due to the fact that she acquired cancer. Henrietta had a total of six children, in which five of them were born before the discovery of her cancer. Henrietta’s cancer proved to be quite significant in the scientific field. Her cells were taken from her body before and after her death without the consent of herself or her husband, Day. Rebecca Skloot wrote the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to tell the story of Henrietta’s cells and her family. Her cells, called…show more content…
In part three of the novel, a major topic was about the Lacks family and the effect that their mother’s cells had on their lives. One geneticist named Susan Hsu believed that the Lacks family should be proud of their mother. It was very unethical to take Henrietta Lacks cells without her consent because she had no idea that someone would be using her body all over the world. This is similar to the case of John Moore because they took his tissues and used them all over California. John Moore was luckier to plead his case though because he remained alive for many years after the tissue was taken. The family of Henrietta Lacks should not hold a grudge against the doctors forever because they know that her mother did good to help save the lives of many people with sicknesses. They are benefiting from her cells as well because of the medicine her cells were able to be tested on and make. Deborah took many pills and acknowledged that they were most likely made due to her mothers’ cells. Zakariyya, on the other hand, wanted to benefit with the aspects of money and being able to live in a decent home since his mother’s cells helped science in significant ways. The fact that George Gey did not profit off of the use of Henrietta’s cells does not make the act of taking her cells without consent excusable. Doctors and researchers should have to ask patients if they can use their cells because it is unethical to take

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