Book Report On Henrietta Lacks

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Henrietta Lacks From class discussions, and personal thoughts on this book, I can see why many people would view this story as one of racism. Before a very important point was brought to my attention, I also saw this as taking advantage of a person of color. In the book it states that the doctors took samples of white peoples and colored people’s cells, though. As important as it was to develop immortal cells I have to believe this to be true. After our class discussion when this argument was brought up, I found myself arguing both sides with a lot of “yeah-buts.” First, back in the segregation times, people of color were taken advantage of, so why then would this be any different? On the other hand, when you are so fixated on what’s…show more content…
In the book about Henrietta Lacks, many characters develop their own ideas and opinions on how things happened to Henrietta. They looked at her experience with cancer, Johns Hopkins Medical Center, and the professionals that worked there and formed their ideas. Henrietta seemed to be a person of business as usual. She didn’t question, or argue, and definitely kept the pain to herself. She knew internally what was happening. In the beginning, I believe she thought this was something that could be cured, but as her cancer progressed she accepted that what the doctors were doing for her was what they could do and nothing more could be done. Henrietta seemed like a person that just accepted things as they were, she was a minority and a woman. She was the strength of her family, both immediate and extended. In the book the family that is interviewed talks about Henrietta she was everyone’s mother, grandmother, and aunt. They all had such great respect for her. When she needed blood but couldn’t get anymore, Emmett Lacks, Henrietta’s cousin and his six brothers rushed down to the hospital during their work day to donate blood for her. They did this without even thinking twice. Emmett and his brothers knew that Henrietta had always provided for them. They were…show more content…
The objectivist sociological definition states, a social problem exists when there is a sizable difference between the ideals of a society and its actual achievements, Coleman & Kerbo pg. 2. This definition is one where sociologists decide what is or is not a social problem. Examining the time that this book took place, this was not considered a social problem by a sociologist only because in the 40’s and 50’s black people didn’t have rights like white people did. It was the norm. Now according to the subjectivist definition, a social problem exists when a significant number of people believe that a certain condition is, in fact, a problem, Coleman & Kerbo pg. 3. I can see where many would say this was unjust toward one race, especially in the 40’s and 50’s. Although, as I learned, keeping control of your mind and reading each word of this book helps to comprehend all aspects. As I noted earlier, I first thought doctors were only taking cells from black people, when in fact it was white & black patients. You might find a problem when looking in the files of each patient. Some may be noted more accurately than others, which is a social problem. In Henrietta’s file, the doctors weren’t honest about her health, or her complaints. They did treat her more like a test subject than they probably would a white patient. Also, it’s hard for me to think that they (the doctors and researchers)

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