Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Essay Example

Comments (1) Cite this document
[Course Number] [Professor Name] Ethical Issues of HeLa cells This paper aims to discuss the ethical issues with regard to Henrietta lack’s cancer cells. “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” written by Rebecca Skloot, a real life story of an African woman, who suffered from a rare kind of cervical cancer…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER93.8% of users find it useful
Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

Download file to see previous pages With this case Skloot raises many ethical issues; the credibility of the medical personnel, the implausible significance of doctor-patient confidentiality, and informed consent. Henrietta was diagnosed by the doctors at John’s Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore with cervical cancer. Once her strenuous treatment began, during a routine procedure, Dr. George Gey got hold of cancer malignancy cells from her uterine cervix in order to run tests and have an attempt of discovering a good immortal cell line. After many futile attempts, finally Dr. Gey succeeded in acquiring and culturing the immortal cancer cells. His enthusiasm led him to dispense these kinds of cells to fellow researchers so that they could also use these cells for further research on cancer. Skloot made sure to remind the readers throughout the book; that in the 50’s women patient believed their doctors blindly for cure and diagnoses. Thus, deceptiveness was a common practice amongst the medical personals. Meanwhile, profit was derived from these precious cells and Henrietta’s family had no clue about what was happening. They were unaware of the fact that doctors worldwide were becoming wealthy and famous with the help of their mother’s tissues. ...
The most heart wrenching and distressing part of the book entails the pragmatic information about Henrietta's cellular samples, which were distributed to several doctors without permission or consent of her family. Consequently, this highlights three more ethical concerns: breach of patient confidentiality, credibility of doctors and importance of an informed consent. An example from chapter 26, Breach of Privacy, shows a specific one which states that currently publishing medical records without patient’s consent or his family; is a federal law violation. However, in early 1980s somebody traded Henrietta medical reports for huge sum of money and there were none federal medical ethic regulations present; to protect Henrietta right for confidentiality (Skloot, 211). As of now, many states in US, approximately 35 had passed laws that protect the patient’s confidentially of his medical records, but at that time Maryland was not one of them. This shows a clear contrast between modern medical laws and laws and regulations from the early 80's. Providing any individual’s health information or medical reports or talking about his medical status to the public without taking his permission cannot happen in the current scenario without having to deal with grave consequences. On the contrary, the doctors in the book were giving all varieties of information about Henrietta's tissues to other doctors, the media, and many other personal without acknowledging patient’s family at all or their consent. The alarming part while analyzing the Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks case was that the scientists and researchers involved in handling HeLa cells had ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Essay)
“Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (1)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
antonettabogan added comment 7 months ago
Student rated this paper as
The topic of "Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" is quite often seen among the tasks in university. Still, this example opens a brand new perspective of seeing the problem. I’ll use the style for my own essay.

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

...English 20 April The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Henrietta lacks was a poor African American tobacco farmer. In 1951, when she was only thirty one she was diagnosed with cervical cancer which eventually killed her. Despite being buried in an unmarked grave in Virginia, Henrietta’s cells took an eternal life and she is now alive more than ever. Her cells live on in research laboratories all over the world providing priceless leads to scientists studying the genetic changes that can change a normal cell into a malignant one. All over the world Henrietta Lack’s cells...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

...? 12 July Book Report- The immortal life of Henrietta lacks The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is more of a critique of science than merely a reflection of the Lacks family. Scientists who have been experimenting upon HeLa cells tend not to relate them to Henrietta because this makes their job easier. The plot is a combination of several themes including illiteracy, gender, race, and poverty. In the contemporary research and development, there is a noticeable difference between the extent to which the remains of educated white women are associated with them and the extent to which illiterate black women are remembered or credited for their medical remains. All of the themes of the story best integrate into one scene from 2001... . But I...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Skloot, Rebecca

...?Topic:  The text your going to use Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. New York, NY: Broadway Paperbacks, Crown Publishing Group,Random House, Inc., 2010, 2011.Choose one of the first four chapters from the book From the early chapters of the book, particularly the second chapter, it could be said that the author’s work gives a clear indication that there is some level of good associated with everything bad. This is because for a writer who started of by writing about the agonizing life of a woman who had to battle cervical cancer, the author could however give readers and especially the family of the antagonist, who was...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

... and Research, 67-69. Jeffery, K. (2009). Modern Medical Reserch: A Look at Ethical Standards. Journal of Modern Professional Ethicas, 29-31. Maxwell, O. (2009). Racail Attitudes in the Modern American State. Journal od Social Development , 89-91. Skloot, R. (2010). Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. New York: Pan Macmillan. William, N. (2011). Medical research and Ethical Responsibility. Joural of Medical Research, 23-27. Winstone, P. (2011). Modern Culture and Science. Journal of Socia Studies, 29-34.... ? Immortal Cells of Henrietta Lacks Question One of the most significant ways in which Henrietta Lacks was treated in a different and a biased manner, was...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

...The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot’s book, the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a thorough description of the life of Henrietta Lacks and the cells that she unknowingly contributed for the advancement of medical research. However, the book discusses a number of ethical issues that are associated to HeLa cells and makes one wonder about the ethical issues that exist today. Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman and a mother five was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Dr.Gey noticed that...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

... Ethical Issues of HeLa Cells HeLa cells are among the greatest scientific achievement of the last century. Ithelped in medical research and is still playing a pivotal role in research endeavors. HeLa cells are cervical lineage cells derived from the cervix of an African American patient named Henrietta Lacks who was diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer. Rebecca Skloot in her book, the Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks delves into the truth behind HeLa cells and highlights several ethical issues that gently surface. Henrietta lacks cancer cells were abnormal in nature. Lack’s doctor, Dr.Gey noticed that the cells grew exponentially in a short span of time, which was the same rate at which they were growing and spreading... . The book...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Cell Phone Addiction - a Growing Social Problem

4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Book Critique of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

...The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Summary The book highlights the medical life of Henrietta, which mostly included a series of diseases, lack of treatment and failure to follow up on medication and appointments. This was partly because of her little knowledge on reading, writing and especially on medical health. It contains detailed information right from when Henrietta suspected something was wrong too when she had to be driven all the way to John Hopkins Hospital for a more intensive checkup (Skloot, 2010). The doctor’s analysis of her cervix, his discovery of the tumor and the...
5 Pages(1250 words)Book Report/Review


...HENRIETTA LACKS THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS Henrietta Lacks was a cervical cancer patient who died in 1951. Before her demise doctors had cut a sample of her cancer cells and reproduced them artificially in a lab for research at John Hopkins Hospital. These cells had a life of their own and seemed to multiply fast. They are still alive up to today and have helped scientists in the study of cancer, development of vaccines, study of HIV AIDS and even research on aging. Henrietta Lacks family would later learn that her cells were alive after a...
1 Pages(250 words)Assignment

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

...The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks involves the immortal life of a human cell and the theme concerns unawareness. The two poems described in this paper uses Robert Frost’s model. Immortality of a human cell Immortality is the capability of something living forever. The human, animal or plant cells can be preserved in medical and agricultural laboratories, which can assist doctors and agricultural experts in doing research about the diseases. The human, animal or plant cells are categorized...
2 Pages(500 words)Assignment
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for FREE!

Contact Us