By 1993, her only surviving daughter, Deborah Lacks-Pullum, was fighting to understand the continuing existence of her mother as the smallest unit of life. Immortality can also be viewed from a metaphysical perspective. With no desire for profit, he made the He-La cells available to all interested in biological research, including virologist Jonas Salk 1914-1995. Once I got that--once I understood that African-Americans have historically been this country's great unwashed--stories like this are almost predictable. But, you know, the question of how race played into her health care is a hard one to answer.
To doctors, this meant that using such patients as research subjects in lieu of payment was a fair trade. Tissue culture is a fundamental part of modern medicine and responsible for many advances that we all take for granted. Share it below in the comment section. Skloot tells the tale of how Henrietta Lacks became HeLa, and how Lacks and her family went both unacknowledged and uncompensated for her contribution to the medical community. Furthermore, she lives on in the hearts of her family, who view Henrietta and HeLa not as separate entities, which is the common scientific practice, but as one and the same. She was picked up and dropped by a series of publishers, agents and editors. They bought a home in Turner Station, which is now Dundalk, Maryland.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 08 Dec. Her records revealed that she would have refused treatment had she known Skloot 47—8. Because this largely white community can't even fathom or care what the Lacks family needs in order to understand HeLa, researchers cause a lot of harm and anxiety. Instead they continued to divide and multiply. By the early nineties, a scientist at Yale had used HeLa to discover that human cancer cells contain an enzyme called telomerase that rebuilds their telomeres. This connects to Henrietta because although Hopkins treats African Americans, they are still segregated and are not given the correct treatments and that is the barrier. To them, Henrietta is HeLa, and HeLa is Henrietta.
If things had been done a different way, the story could have been one of pride for the family for the advances these cells have helped bring about. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. To begin with, Black patients were oftentimes rejected from hospitals because of their inability to pay. There's no way of knowing whether or how Henrietta's treatment would have differed if she'd been white. That fluid protects the brain from damage, but makes it very difficult to X-ray, since images taken through fluid are cloudy. She was buried in an unmarked grave.
There was a significant amount of segregation and it was difficult to find a place that served colored people. To think of all patients involved in research as people first. When they became public, the government apologized but not a single doctor or hospital was publicly blamed. Rebecca Skloot was not the first writer to investigate institutional racism in medicine and this treatise should not be taken as a thorough review of her impressive research for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Bought and sold and shipped around the world for decades, HeLa cells are famous to science students everywhere. There is no doubt that Hopkins Hospital is one of the best in the country but it does not mean anything when they are not treating their patients equally.
There was some truth behind those tales. The scientists grew up in an era of segregation, of not having to ever explain things to black people. Skloot tells the story of Mrs. She should have the right to know that the radiation was going to affect the inside of her body as well as the outside. None of these men, women, and children were told what was being done, and none gave informed consent. Timeline of Laws Related to the Protection of Human Subjects. It gets worse when Henrietta was asking her doctors when she can have children again, but they later informed her that the radiation made her infertile.
Following the Depression and between the two World Wars, opportunities for African Americans opened in the steel mills in Bethlehem, Maryland, near Baltimore, and in 1941, Henrietta and David left tobacco farming with the two children and joined the Great Migration. Yet, those same cancer cells continued to divide outside of her body, allowing them to be studied for medical advancement. But Skloot emphasizes economic injustice far more. He found a way to keep the cells alive, and growing. But nobody ever say nothing. They are the living and sole remaining pieces of their family member on Earth.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the averages are a good reminder of how race can affect medical treatment and its level of success. Slick websites under bio-medical sponsorship which pay homage to Henrietta Lacks, have sprung up like weeds in a garden. Rather, they see their mother, wife, and friend being subjected to inhuman physical trials. Or at least a part of her does.
According to Howard Jones, Henrietta got the same care any white patient would have; the biopsy, the radium treatment, and radiation were all standard for the day. One of the most interesting facts mentioned in the book is that HeLa cell production was initially done at Tuskegee University then, the only black medical school as a way to create jobs for black men and women in the medical field. No such oath is required of medical researchers whom the public often confuse with physicians. To discourage slaves from meeting or escaping, slave owners told tales of gruesome research done on black bodies, then covered themselves in white sheets and crept around at night, posing as spirits coming to infect black people with disease or steal them for research. But little has been known, until now, about the unwitting donor of these cells. As public knowledge of these atrocities and others swept across America, particularly within the Black community, many Black people grew distrustful of doctors and medicine.