Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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Nduka Onuchukwu Shiladitya, Sen College Writing September 18, 2012 Rough Draft The Individuals Right The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks shows how an individual’s personal rights can be effortlessly breached when it involves medical science and research. Being in their position, doctors could say many things to a patient that the patient could deem true, and what was really the truth, was kept confidential to those who only studied science. “Everybody knew black people were disappearing cause Hopkins was experimenting on them!” (Skloot 169) clarified the mindset of the people, specifically Bobbette in this quote, who did not know and were kept out of the loop. The conflict of the plot, and in society at the time, is whether it wrong for a doctor to take samples from a person’s body without them knowing? It could be seen as immoral, but what if Henrietta had been told her cells were going to be used for testing? What if she rejected the doctor’s request to use those cells? Doctors and medical science could be set back 50 years, and cures for disease might not have been discovered till this day. On the other hand however, the example of the scientific breakthroughs due to the HeLa cells could have been a free pass for scientists everywhere to take samples, study and test different parts of other people. This could easily be lead to unwanted and unethical practices by scientist’s everywhere. In the case of Henrietta, She was virtually unknown, and died clueless of the next scientific generation she started. Most of her family found this extremely unethical, and some demanded compensation, as well as knowledge. One of those family members was Deborah, Henrietta’s daughter. Deborah’s goal, which she sought throughout the novel, could be what satisfies both the individual as well as scientific research. Recognition of the person’s contribution could be

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