Miracle: Henrietta Lacks: Individual Rights vs. the "Greater Good": the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

1068 Words5 Pages
A great quote to go by “I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught,” stated by Winston Churchill. If not taught Henrietta Lack’s story no one would know, she made one of the greatest contributions ever without any viable consent, her cells would be used. Her cells are considered to be at least a medical blessing. She had very special cells and if it were not for her we would not have, for one example, the polio vaccine. In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, prejudice extends past race and gender to include unethical verdicts. It may be perfectly legal that John Hopkins researchers used Henrietta’s cells, however it is immoral. A consent form demonstrated, on page thirty-one, a vague statement and because of this the existence of Henrietta Lacks cells will always stir controversy whether it is in their origin or the continued usage for years to come and I believe we should have consent to our cells because it our rights as humans and the right to privacy. In addition, it is important for people to know what is done to cells because we should not unwillingly give consent (if we are not fully aware). Ethical dilemmas arise one being the Lacks family had no idea that a sample of her tumour had been taken and sent to George Gey. In chapter three, Henrietta goes for her diagnosis and treatment and signs an operation permit form. I agree Dr. TeLinde’s research was important but not justifiable because he did not properly let his patient be conscious that her cells would be used. One questions whether or not appropriate consent was given because there was not any proper consent. I believe at least letting Henrietta know what they were doing would be the ethical thing to do. Although, Henrietta signed the operation permit it did not give the hospital the right to take tissue from Henrietta for research purposes. How would you

More about Miracle: Henrietta Lacks: Individual Rights vs. the "Greater Good": the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Open Document