Henrietta Lacks

Topics: HeLa, Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot Pages: 2 (598 words) Published: November 25, 2012
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is written by Rebecca Skloot, who is an award winning science writer. The story is of a young black women, Henrietta Lacks, who was diagnosed with cancer in 1951, at the John Hopkins Hospital. Cells were taken from her body during her examinations, without her knowledge. They were used to develop the first immortal cell line. Her cells became very important for the development of vaccines. Her family, however, has not received any benefit and still cannot even afford health insurance. They do not even know that the cells belong to Henrietta. This has raised many ethical questions on the research that has been done using Henrietta's cells.

Henrietta's life had not been an easy one. Long before she got ill with cancer; her father abandoned her in childhood. She was married at a very early age. At the age of 14; she was a mother. She then moved to the Turner Station with her husband, who was not so faithful to her. At Turner Station, she and her family faced a life of segregation and poverty. Despite all the difficulties that she faced in her life, she still remained an enthusiastic person. She had a spirit that was not able to break. She was described by her friends as a person having a cheerful disposition. She was an also a person who was quick to laugh. She would also go out dancing with her cousin Sadie. The most important and strong side of Henrietta was her motherhood. Her cousin, Sadie also suspected that she delayed seeking medical attention, because she was afraid that it might affect her fertility and prevent her from having more children. She was extremely heart broken when she realized that the surgery has made her infertile. She was angry and sad at the fact that the doctors did not tell her beforehand that what the surgery would do to her. When her condition worsened, the doctors told her husband not to bring her children to visit her. This...
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