Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

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Anthony D’Amico 30 August 2011 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Essay Throughout the novel, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, there are many problems that go on in Henrietta’s life and her families. Some major themes that stand out are poverty and science advancements. Henrietta’s family was not fortunate enough to have a lot of money, which did not help any of their problems and science also stood out because of all the scientific developments that happened because of HeLa. One of the Lacks’ families’ major difficulties was that they never had any money. When Henrietta was a young girl, her and her cousins would actually want to be slaves for white people just so they could have money to do activities.…show more content…
Not having the right education affect how much knowledge they would have about the cells. They did not even know about the cells growing for a long time. Scientists began to sell the cells for money. The demand for the cells was so high because many scientists wanted to use them. Gey would send them to any scientists who were willing to buy them for ten dollars. The Lacks family did not know about this and they were getting no money out of Henrietta’s cells. Eventually there was a Henrietta Lacks museum that the family was still not getting any money from. The family did not like how they were not getting any money from all these cells. Many of the Lacks’ had health issues and they did not have great health insurance, yet their family had been diagnosed with so many problems. For example, “Day had prostate cancer and asbestos-filled lungs. Sonny had a bad heart, and Deborah had arthritis, osteoporosis, nerve deafness, anxiety, and depression” (Skloot 168-69). Without good health insurance it would be very hard for them to overcome all of these, especially since they did not have an ample amount of money. Even towards the end when Deborah was taking a lot of pills, she still could not…show more content…
It was hard for the Lacks family to deal with life, without having a lot of money. However the family will always be known for helping save millions of lives because of Henrietta’s cells, which they should be very proud of. I think they should have gotten some of the money from the cells though. It was not right how scientists made a lot of money off of the cells that were not from them. Nevertheless at least their family is really getting recognition for the cells today through books, documentaries and Internet. Hopefully Henrietta’s cells will continue to grow and help with even more scientific advancements in the
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