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Henrietta Lacks Informed Consent

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Henrietta Lacks Informed Consent
Informed Consent: The Rights of the Patient and the Responsibilities of Researchers In Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a major issue is presented: the absence of informed consent in medical practices. This is predominately seen in 1950's cancer patient Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta was diagnosed with cervical cancer at John Hopkins hospital shortly after giving birth to her oldest child, and was treated with radiation. Neither she nor her family knew the extreme dangers she faced by receiving this treatment. Sadly, Henrietta soon painfully died from complications. Before and after her treatment, her cells and tissues were taken without her nor her family's permission. These cells, called the HeLa cells, were then used to make great progress in medicine. Since …show more content…
Informed consent should always be used as it protects the health and rights of the patients and protects the hospital from lawsuits. During the time of Henrietta Lacks, there was little to no concept of informed consent. This was seen often, especially when doctors worked on people of color. At John Hopkins hospital, which was the hospital where Henrietta received her cancer treatments at, the taken tissue was seen as a form of payment, as she received the treatment for free. During this time, informed consent was as simple as signing a paper. In other words, doctors did not have to make sure that the patient understood the possible risks and benefits of the treatment that they were receiving, nor did they ask permission to use cells or tissues In addition to not fully informing the patients with information about the treatment they were receiving, doctors often lied to them. Doctors would tell patients that they were testing their immunity to disease or doing research, when in fact they were injecting them with malignant cells. This latter example is seen when doctors injected Ohio Penitentiary inmates with HeLa cells. The ad that was put out in the

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