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"Life is just a series of speed bumps." - Brendanpec

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

  • Date Submitted: 10/22/2014 08:02 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.6 
  • Words: 1560
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The Personal Essay
“I’ve spent years staring at [Henrietta’s] photo, wondering what kind of life she led, what happened to her children, and what she’d think about cells from her cervix living on forever – bought, sold, packaged, and shipped by the trillions to laboratories around the world” (Skloot 1). From the very beginning we have Rebecca Skloot so intimately introducing us to the story of her book. She is bringing up to the reader the main reason and focus of her work, which is discovering; the untold story from life to death of Henrietta Lacks, the woman behind the world famous HeLa cells. Meanwhile the author is introducing us to the main character of this impressive and multilayered story; she is letting the reader get the feeling of the central issue treated in this book on how Henrietta’s cells were used without her or her family’s consent. The story is now becoming an ethical question of whatever was right or wrong from researchers to take her cells. Although using the cells of Henrietta Lacks without her consent was immoral, the benefit from using her cells to save thousands of lives outweighs the initial deceit.
        The “Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” narrates the story of Henrietta, a young Afro-American woman, mother of Lawrence, Elsie, Sonny, Deborah, Joseph and Day Lack’s wife. She died from a severe form of cervical cancer at age of thirty one. While receiving treatment at a local hospital, Doctor Howard Jones took tissues from her tumor, without her consent to it.   Eventually this cells were passed to the laboratory of doctor George Otto Gey, so they could be used in medical research. The cells, later named after Henrietta Lacks initials as “HeLa Cells”, happened to be the ones the science craved so much for, because they were immortal which made them one of the most revolutionary...


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