Who Is Henrietta Lack?

Decent Essays
I used to believe that major historical events found on a timeline and taught in textbooks shaped our history today. However, after taking a theory of knowledge course that teaches perspective as a way of knowing to justify other areas of knowledge, I have developed a world perspective. After being assigned a “What if” project, I was able to fully understand what would happen if the events in history that no one thinks about or even learns about never happened. I gained a newfound perspective on history upon reading, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The book argues the ethical circumstances surrounding Henrietta lacks, which poses the question, What if Henrietta Lack’s cells known as HeLa were never stolen and mass produced world wide resulting in the greatest technological advancements the world has ever seen? Who is Henrietta Lacks? Henrietta Lacks, known as the mother of modern medicine, was a poor African American tobacco farmer in East Baltimore who was buried in an unmarked grave sixty years ago. Upon discovering she had cervical cancer at John Hopkins University after a swab of her cells was taken, it was already to late for her. Henrietta’s children went on to live a life in poverty with no health care, while her mother’s cells launched a medical revolution. Her cells are seen as immortal, because they are grown in culture and are still living today. In addition, they were unlike…show more content…
Even though, no one knows her name or story, they know the scientific advancements because of her. My definition of the word “history” and “ethics” has expanded to incorporate all perspectives on a particular situation after glancing inward. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective,” which is exactly what Henrietta Lacks has taught me to
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