The immortal life of henrietta lacks

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  • Publicado : 8 de diciembre de 2011
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a book full of truth. It describes the world of poverty, scientific research and medicine, and how these threecan sometimes relate and take advantage of each other. The book is based on the story of Henrietta Lacks, also known as HeLa in the world of medicine and science. Henrietta is the unwilling donor ofthe first immortal cells in the world. Rebecca Skloot introduces the story through the eyes, voice and perspective of Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter.

In the early 1950’s Henrietta wasdiagnosed with cervical cancer, and her diagnosis was that it was malign and invasive, giving her little hope to live. Henrietta, the strong woman she was, decided to not worry others and handle itherself. Through out the treatment Henrietta was being used as an “experiment” by some doctors named George Gey and Howard Jones. Henrietta was unaware about this, never was she told or informed that hercells were taken out of her body and being used for medical and scientific purposed. ”He peered inside Henrietta, dilated her cervix, and prepared to treat her tumor. But first—though no one had toldHenrietta that TeLinde was collecting samples or asked if she wanted to be a donor—Wharton picked up a sharp knife and shaved two dime pieces from Henrietta’s cervix (Skloot, 33). This clearly violatesthe Nuremberg Code, which are multiple research ethics that need to be followed by both researchers and doctors at all times. Premise one of the Nuremberg Code states that “The voluntary consent ofthe human subject is absolutely essential” (Nuremberg Code). Clearly on Henrietta’s case Dr. Gey and Dr. Jones violated this code.

Dr. Jones and Dr. Grey acted immorally and in a way took advantageof an ignorant woman who didn’t have the proper education to be aware of the situation and her health problems. People who are less fortunate economically than others tend to be more oblivious...
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