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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Essay Example

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

They have been influential in research and continue to help save millions of lives all over the world. Before her death, a biopsy sample of her tumor was taken by Dr. George Gey who was then the head of tissue culture research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland without her permission. The doctor had been trying to grow human cells within glass for sometime without success. All cells he used before would die off immediately after a few weeks in culture and only dividing once or twice. Henrietta’s cells were exceptional; they divided vigorously taking up an independent existence. The cells were named HeLa cells after the first two letters of Henrietta’s first and last names. The use of human tissues for experimentation and research without the consent of the patient is a violation of ethical principles justice and informed consent in medical research. This is particularly serious when the violation is in relation to disadvantaged and minority populations for example the African Americans (Serlin et al. 54). In the case of Henrietta, her cells had been given a name and used for about twenty four years after her death without her family’s knowledge, the family was shocked to learn that all this time her cells were alive and had circulated all over the world. ...
Johns Hopkins did not patent the HeLa cells or use them commercially for financial benefits. Since then Johns Hopkins and other research-based medical centers always obtain consent from donors of tissue and cells for scientific research. HeLa cells became one of the most important tools in medicine. They have been significant in developing the polio vaccine, gene mapping, cloning, in vitro fertilization, AIDS research, toxicity testing and a range of other research. Many advances in cell physiology, cancer research, genetics and treatment are made through the use of cells grown outside the body. In 1966 a geneticist known as Stanley Gartler discovered that eighteen cell lines they were working on with other researchers had been contaminated and taken over by HeLa cells. In 1976, eleven additional cell lines widely used in research were also found to be contaminated with HeLa and by 1981 more cell lines had been contaminated with HeLa. The presence of HeLa cells in other cell lines is evidence to the unrestrained and vigorous nature of some cancer cells. In 1952, a prototype polio vaccine was developed by a research scientist known as Jonas Salk at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. This was with the support of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The prototype polio vaccine was developed using killed strains of the poliomyelitis virus. Initial experiments with the vaccine were assuring and with the results the Foundation focused on undertaking a massive clinical trial. Sweat labor and knowledge as well as tissue and blood from African Americans were used to advance the cure for polio. HeLa cells which were the first human cell line to be ...Show more
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Summary

Name English 20 April 2012 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…
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3 pages (750 words) Essay
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Skloot, Rebecca
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 Henrietta Lacks a very high level of hope that even though she died eventually, she continues to live because out of her cancer cell, a remedy cell called HeLa that was to be a life saving cell was to be found to help other people survive.
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The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks ( summary of part 3 of the book)
Conversely, the chapter tracks the story of how the medical professionals who had recently discovered the contamination problem that has been related in the prior summary paper that was submitted could be solved. The medical researchers decided the best means to solve the contamination issue would be to obtain genetic markers from Henrietta Lack’s family as a means of specifically determining which cells were contaminated and which cells were not.
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
But, lying on the bed of St John Hopkins’s hospital and battling with cancer, Lacks had no idea that her tumorous cells would become important tools for medical research. Dr.Gey, Henrietta Lack’s doctor, extracted some of the tumorous tissues for research purpose and noticed their surprisingly rate of proliferation and began using it for his own research endeavors.
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
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 Lack’s tumorous cells behaved astonishingly abnormally and divided really fast when compared to other tumor cells.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
It is an exact depiction of the emotional turmoil faced by Henrietta's family, during their journey to find about Henrietta's immortal cancer cells, named as HeLa cells, used for research without the patient or family’s knowledge or consent . These cells because of its rare kind were a great scientific discovery and still hold importance in scientific research.
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Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
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 in Henrietta’s body.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The author shows struggling of two main characters of the story – mother and daughter, reviling the internal world of both women. The mother struggled to help her daughter, praying for her to be healed at revival meetings to no avail. Skloot claimed “a bit of Henrietta died” when Elsie, her daughter, went away.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Dr.Gey, Henrietta Lack’s doctor, extracted some of the tumorous tissues for research purpose and noticed their surprisingly rate of proliferation and
3 pages (750 words) Essay
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
ot tells of a painful story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor African-American tobacco farmer who died of cancer after fighting with the disease for a long time. However, before her death, doctors removed a cancer cell from her body without her knowledge, which they later used to
1 pages (250 words) Essay
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