Henrietta Lacks Ethical Issues

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Pages: 4

Henrietta Lacks cells live on but so do the ethical issues part of it. Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman who was diagnosed with cervical cancer at John Hopkins Hospital in 1950. Not only that but researchers at John Hopkins used her cells for medical research. Henrietta Lacks started the HeLa cell line that helped scientists worldwide uncover new discoveries. However, Henrietta and her family were not aware her cells were being used for research which brings in the dilemma. Henrietta was not informed and was never informed about her cells. If only she knew how her cells advanced in medical research and how much profit her cells were making, her life could have been a little different.
It’s not just the fact that patients should have consent over their “bits and scraps” but also of being aware of what some
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The emotional aspect of this is that you would want to know what your tissues can do, for example save millions of lives. I mean I would want to know if my tissues saved millions of lives.
Unlike Henrietta and Moore’s stories, Ted Slavin was the first person to have complete control over his tissues. Ted Slavin held the first-ever Hepatitis B vaccine (in his blood, of course). Slavin was a hemophiliac who received blood infusions from donor blood. His doctor had discovered and informed his patient on how his blood and tissues can be valuable. Slavin then managed who would do research on his blood samples and tissues, how, and who would make profit off of them. Slavin even started a company, Essential Biologicals, all due to his doctor being truthful.
With the knowledge of knowing you have something valuable to give to the world, the more patients would want to contribute to medical research. Also, this would be effected with a few rights on their tissues just like Ted