Ethical Principles Paper
University of Phoenix
May 18, 2015
Introduction Ethics is defined as the branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. More simply put, it is the standards that members of a profession must follow. In psychology, ethics plays a big role in psychology because it protects the client and the counselor as well. However, in the case on Henrietta Lacks, it seems that there was no room for ethics during these scientists studies. Henrietta Lacks was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells were taken without her knowledge in 1951. She was considered one of the most important tools in medicine and vital for
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Her cells even helped create a vaccine to conquer polio. By this time, many scientist had gotten ahold of HeLa cells and Skloot (2010) stated, after these occurrences, a virologist named Charles Southam had the idea that the HeLa cells could infect the scientists working on them. Because of this idea, Southam placed an ad in Ohio State Penitentiary newsletter seeking twenty-five volunteers. As a result of this ad, prisoners (murderers, embezzlers, robbers, and forgers) could not wait to volunteer and were flooding up to 150 prisoners volunteers (p.128-129). These prisoners believed this was a great way to make a right of all the wrongs they have done.In 1956 prisoners were injected with HeLa cells to see if it would cause cancer. The results came back inconclusive Some prisoners grew tumors but it never caused full blown cancer. Skloot (2010), also stated that Southam started testing gynecologic surgery patients from Sloan-Kettering's Memorial Hospital or James Ewing hospital and told them he was testing for cancer, which, he believed he was. However, he found that it seemed that people with cancer were rejecting the cells more slowly than healthy people did (p. 130).
Ethics Violated The story of Henrietta Lacks is a controversial topic because doctors took her cells without asking. Those cells never died and launched a medical revolution and a multi-million dollar industry. Henrietta's cells were