Henrietta Lacks Research Paper

Words: 736
Pages: 3

Henrietta Lacks was a young black woman who began to experience pain after giving birth to her fourth child. She visited a doctor saying she had a “knot on her womb” and was referred to John Hopkins Hospital. John Hopkins hospital was the only hospital that treated black patients around that time. After her examination, Dr. Howard Jones confirmed that Henrietta Lacks had a purple lump on her cervix.
Dr. Richard TeLinde and Dr. George Gey, were two of the best researchers at John Hopkins. Dr. Gey and his wife Margaret had been trying for years to grow cells outside of the body for cancer research. Dr. TeLinde had offered him samples of cells involved with cervical cancer, including Henrietta’s. After she was officially diagnosed with cancer, Henrietta went back to Hopkins for treatment. She signed an operation waiver that gave consent to the hospital staff “to perform any operative procedures and under any aesthetic either local or general that they may deem necessary in the proper surgical care” (Skloot, pg. 31). She went through numerous tests and was operated on. Without Henrietta knowing, the surgeon, Dr. Lawrence Wharton Jr., took a sample from her tumor, and another from the healthier cervical tissue and sent them to Dr. Gey. Normally, he would collect cell
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They were vital to testing the Salk polio vaccine and many other things. Because they were very successful cells, other scientist showed interest in them and began buying them for their own personal research experiments. No one still hadn’t contacted the Lacks family to let them know that Henrietta Lacks’ cells were still alive. In 2008, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though it was not cervical cancer, I would be very upset to find out years later that her cells were used for research without her or my family’s consent. Not only that they were used for research, but someone was making profit off of these cells and it was no one of kin to