The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Essay Example

This research paper discusses the tale of Henrietta Lacks in the guide “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”. It examines the historical, social, ethical, educational, scientific and spiritual views of the situation of obtaining Henrietta Lack’s cells. In line with the literature, an undesirable tobacco farmer had the woman cancer tumors cells extracted without the woman consent long ago in 12 months 1951. These cells that later on became popularly known as the HeLa cells became very important in medical clinical tests. For instance, they were vital the growth of the polio vaccine, gene mapping including in vitro fertilization. Further, Henrietta’s cells have already been purchased and sold for fortunes yet she stays mostly hidden in public arena. Worse nevertheless, the woman household cannot pay for insurance coverage on her behalf health care. This story tells a complex connection with medical, ethical also racial disparities. Essentially, it encompasses the dark periods within the American history that saw several experimental procedures done in the African American populations. (Smith, Van, 2002)

Academic and Research Purposes

The HeLa cells were used to result in the initial tests on polio vaccine. Till this date HeLa cells have now been employed for purposes of research into cancer tumors, AIDS along with gene mapping. Indeed, formal data show that more than 60,000 clinical articles happen obtained from HeLa cell related research and that the amount has held increasing quite radically with accurate documentation a lot of 300 articles on a monthly basis. This has certainly served to start up the field of medical research specially that regarding the genetics. Presently, a great deal is famous in regards to the medical technology of virology and gene mapping. Even though the family have been designed to be kept at nighttime, the theory got into the general public limelight once the benefits to the medical curriculum cannot be concealed. As a matter of fact, the HeLa cells have shown more useful than initially thought and most of this individuals who at first opposed the theory are slowly purchasing it. It has been stated that the HeLa cells can divide quite rapidly giving a lot of child cells provided their conditions for development are supplied. This tremendous development has seen these cells infect other cells in the laboratory with the same development patterns making them hard to get a handle on. It has brought into focus the future of these cells and whatever they may portend to future research functions by medical personnel. (Scherer, William, Jerome, Syverton, George, Gey, 2008)

Social Perspectives

The story associated with the HeLa cells had tremendous social effects on the group of Henrietta. For example, her daughter Deborah ended up being really devastated to discover that her mother’s cells had been the main topic of scientific studies into the laboratories. And with the increasing knowledge of gene cloning, the young woman proceeded to wonder in the event that boffins had been cloning the woman mother and just what that will indicate with their household. As a matter of known fact, the medical research team need to took the initiative to allow the household realize the medical characteristics surrounding the problem. This might not only be in line with social ethics, but would save your self Deborah of several head boggling concerns she's to help keep her imaginations alive on. Based on Rebecca Skloot, the woman is psychologically harmed whenever she learns that the woman mother’s cells could be infected with viruses and shot to the area. The effects of this psychological torture are certainly grave on the lives of all of the members with this family. For example, Deborah’s sibling called Elsie passed away of psychological problems in a mental organization at tender chronilogical age of 15 years. This shows just how much the issue continues to affect the members of the family given that it is something which could have been prevented. (Rebecca, 2010)

Also, the notion of their mother’s cells being too vital that you medical research really haunts the whole family if they glance at unique budget as a family group. They can not understand just how this may be possible whenever her immediate kids proceeded to wallow in poverty, not capable manage a medical address. Moreover, Henrietta by herself will not receive the level of medical assistance that is commensurate with a champion inside medical industry. Ideally, any human within the shoes of this lady Henrietta would feel squandered and misused to find out that their cells are now being manipulated for purposes that aren't directly advantageous to them. This is actually exactly what the household and relatives of Henrietta would feel. Even worse still, the truth that the debate would persist inside public is obviously unsettling as they are constantly reminded associated with regrettable situation whenever the issue pops up for debate. Basically, the medical staff while the research group needs to have had more ethical ethics to propose some economic benefits to your family at the least to truly save face. (Watts, Watson, 2010)

According to the research completed on social anxiety disorders, this kind of situation had a good potential of evoking the kiddies a social phobia towards the medical practice or medical personnel generally speaking. Ideally, such sort of social and emotional punishment at a tender age may cause anyone to develop awkward behavior in the long run. As a result, they avoid this by producing subconscious fail safes like thinking through what are the results inside their minds or what they say and looking to get a balance the recognized mistakes by adopting extreme behavior. This is a likely occurrence within the later lives of Henrietta’s kids because what they experienced at that age was plainly sociological abuse. Even though it are argued that the medical group had no obligations to describe in their mind the realities of the mother’s cells, it absolutely was only morally appropriate they be informed.

Get an amount Quote:

Variety of project: composing level: amount of pages: Urgency: Total price:

All first-time users will immediately receive discount

Order now

Health Care Ethics

Right from the very early times when the pioneer medical personnel took the Hippocratic Oath, the significant place held by the ethical factors as concerning issues regarding living entities have received an important invest the professional training of medication. Issues regarding respect for human life therefore the dire need certainly to hit a balance between prospective harm and potential medical benefits. Regarding Henrietta, these two concepts appear to have been met. The principle of respect for individual life ended up being obeyed because there is no direct evidence suggesting that Henrietta’s life was threatened by the extraction of the woman cancer tumors infected cells. Further, those things associated with the medical research group were based on the need to measure possible damage as in accordance with the potential benefits. As a matter of fact, the procedure they intended to pursue would have great impacts on worldwide medical care including help the medical fraternity understand the complex issues of viral infections and their results regarding the human DNA that can cause cancerous growths. This technically absolves the health practitioners of any expert misconduct although they stay as sinful within the court of this public viewpoint. (Smith, Van, 2002)

However, their observation of this healthcare ethics seemed not to ever be absolute. They did not respect Henrietta’s rights of self dedication as is demanded in healthcare ethics. This principle which can be within the Hippocratic Oath requires that any medical decisions made concerning one’s life must first look for their permission. Through the story Henrietta, this essential principle was ignored by the research doctors because they made no tries to look for Henrietta’s consent. Although the doctors might argue that she would not have consented at all offered her small knowledge concerning the technology, they ought to have informed a relative of hers or delivered a psychologist to try to convince the girl for the kids. It’s quite sure ethical dilemmas are not seen when a patient’s cells are removed for medical research without looking for the woman approval. It becomes even worse as soon as the revenues that accrue out of this research serve no purpose at all that has to do with the betterment of the woman welfare. Certainly, it’s ridiculous that Henrietta’s young ones lack a medical insurance yet the woman cells bring huge sums of cash to the scientists. (Watts, Watson, 2010)

Politics of HeLa Cells

The problem usually evokes lots of political undertones plus things of social justice. The fact Henrietta belonged to a minority group has further complicated the matter frequently making appear another exemplory instance of racial prejudice. Numerous African Americans whom occur to share equivalent history as Henrietta read a great deal politics of race toward level that many people sought legal redress from the court of legislation. In its ruling, however, the Supreme Court of California considered the way it is that was popularly known as “Moore v. Regents of the University of California” null and void. Based on the court, the cells of Henrietta were element of discarded tissue and that the cells couldn't be addressed as a house of anyone. This technically permitted anybody inside their possession to commercialize them such as the medical scientists did. However, inside court associated with average man or woman the matter still attracts more emotions than it evokes any passion. Perhaps so as to appease the disgruntled, the researchers made a decision to name the immortal cells after Henrietta Lacks as a kind of honor to your dead. This might not have accomplished much anyhow since the thoughts nevertheless run high especially on the list of African Americans whom feel alienated. This is exactly why several civil right group nevertheless make an effort to have the cancer tumors cells categorized a fresh so that it could be declared illegal to possess been extracted without patient’s consent. (Smith, Van, 2002)

The Church and Religion

The church is not put aside in the raging debate about the malignant cells of Henrietta Lacks. According to a great most of the clergy the sanctity of life is not respected whenever any scientists modify mobile functions or manipulate their physiology. Certainly, the conservative spiritual groups heavily protested up against the court ruling that advised that extracting Henrietta’s cells had been in the law. They argued your body continues to be the main body in death and may for that reason be treated as their property. In this respect, the researchers must have consulted the lady Henrietta Lacks as is recognized as ethically right. Although their argument is more logical than it is appropriate, it will happen offered serious consideration. This might be much more appropriate considering the fact that Henrietta belonged toward church and had spiritual values that really must be respected even yet in death. Certainly, this might make the woman kiddies feel less of outcasts inside church and discover them correctly included as members whom strictly observe the spiritual directions held by the church. Additionally, here is the constitutional requirement in regards to freedom to carry specific religious values of one’s option. (Masters, 2002)

Historical Perspectives

Though it stays as controversial, the actual situation of Henrietta Lacks has seen a few historic changes with regards to the perceptions regarding the society concerning biotechnology. Since its discovery, this technology has received close relations aided by the culture. The idea that began with commercial fermentation is complex with genetic engineering being the new kid in your area. The progress happens to be marked with public opposition, paradigm shifts inside financial scene also redefined bases of political energy. However, it had been until 1975 your debate largely picked up in an even more severe note because of the emergence of outspoken supporters regarding the new technology. Notably, the industry of stem mobile research continues to be a hot subject even though public is slowly accepting it. About they'd one day get to live with all the idea that Henrietta’s situation ended up being a normal case of looking at the wider image of the nice of the whole culture. (Wang, Huang, Shou, 2006)

Economic problems and Patents

Several troubling questions have already been raised regarding the problem of whether or not the family of Henrietta Lacks needs to have the patent right or have significant financial claims on the mother’s tissues that were extracted by the scientists for purposes of research. Even though immediate physician whom removed the cells did not make any economic gains from cells, the actual fact remains your cells had been commercialized. This is because of their rapidity of replication and also the proven fact that they never truly passed away. Actually, the cells are purchased and sold all around the globe where they generate quite a king's ransom in earnings the researchers. However, the concept that Lack’s family members never seen the remittance of even a coin remains a historical wonder associated with minute. They remained bad and without sufficient training in spite of their mother’s cells being of high educational value the world. Even worse still, the make an effort to conceal the information of their mother’s cells remains a social misfit which will never ever be socially justifiable into the recent future. (Watts, Watson, 2010)

How to cite this essay: