The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks Ethical Book Critique Essay

1916 Words Sep 12th, 2014 8 Pages
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Ethical Book Critique
Andrea Burroughs
University of Alabama at Birmingham

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was written by Rebecca Skloot who is from Springfield, Illinois. She is an award winning science writer. She first became familiar with the name Henrietta Lacks and HeLa in her college biology class. She was so intrigued with the information her professor Dr. Defler provided that she immediately went home to research more about this and searched the topic “cell culture” in her biology textbook index. She found the following parenthetical, In culture, cancer cells can go dividing indefinitely, if they have a continual supply of nutrients and this are said to be “immortal”. A striking example is a cell line that has been reproducing in culture since 1951. (Cells of this line are called HeLA cells because their original source was a tumor removed from a woman named Henrietta Lacks) (Skoot,2010)
From the title itself you automatically assume the main character has experienced many issues during her life. However, that’s the opposite. Yes, it may sound impossible for someone’s cells to replicate themselves into an entire generation almost every twenty hours despite health issues, but for Henrietta Lacks it wasn’t impossible. Her cells which are known as HeLa cells have been remarkable and helpful, yet no one knows who she is or who she was. Despite Henrietta’s short lived…

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