The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

16 Oct No Comments

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal life of Henrietta Lack

Tissue culture is so far one of the most celebrated scientific scope of anatomy. One of the most influential and noticeable advancements of this field was the lingering impact of the much acclaimed Henrietta Lack cells currently anonimized as the ‘HeLa cells’ an approach deemed to help in identifying the research source .The cells were first discovered in 1951 at John Hopkins hospital in Baltimore ,Maryland. The source; a woman, one Henrietta Lacks was a patient suffering from cervical cancer. Although the cells have since had a legacy, the story still revolves on whether the methodological methods applied leading to their patented rights, should be turned a blind eye on or not?.In contrast with the legacy of her cells which have since led to a burgeoning economic advancements’ her affiliated family still ironically remain to suffer and have to endure their poor economic stature sixty six years after the demise of a loved member of a family who led to the creation of medical advancements’ despite the fact that the ethics behind them were not legal.

The cells which have led to enormous medical research achievements have remained to be the most intriguing example of bio-objectification in the field of research. They remain to be the first immortal cells and have resulted to numerous scientific appraisals .Bioethics deems it that different people have different opinions on different issues. If their responds can be logically and theoretically argued through empirical evaluation empowered through credible sources, can they be justified and stand a chance. As a result, so have the cells been tested numerously and have remarkably initiated paradigms in science some of which have led to Nobel prizes. Taking an example, is the research behind the discovery of the link between human papilloma virus and cervical cancer in 2008 pioneered by a researcher; Harald Zur Huausen and the role of telomerase in preventing degradation carried by Elizabeth Black.

Henrietta Lacks cells are speculated to be the most profitable bio-objects to date .Their immortal existence remains to be possible to date given due to, the tumors persistence for rapid propagation and invasiveness even behind the decease’s body. The theory behind the explanation of revolves behind the spec of mitosis .Instead of been diploid; cancer cells are aneuploid hence going against the regulated cell cycle mitosis hence leading to uncontrolled cell division. In the same feature ,regardless of their sole existence different from other cells ‘HeLa’cells are able to divide unlimitedly and mutate hence their immortal peculiarity that defies the expected scientific norms of survival for such long periods of time .Due to their ability to invade other tissue culture cells ,there was a breakout of their resultant cause of contamination on other cells .To initiate the eradication, of the contamination a blood sample was necessary to map them out it so happened that Henrietta’s family was important after all!?. A fact that prompted necessary contact to the family to come in the situations aid.

Despite the controversy on the issue of discretion of the donors information, twenty five years later after the hailed results of the successful researches’ had been carried out ,did the real identity of the members family get unleashed despite the numerous pseudonyms applied to disclose the information of the source that had led to this revolutionary scientific era. At first the illiterate family knew not of what to understand in connection of what was asked of them by the scientific researchers .Nevertheless after a good history of expansion of the theory behind their need the family also resorted to seek claim of part of the returns of what they felt had been spearheaded by one of their family as an act of compensation to what it had resulted to given their state of poverty. Regardless of their frequent trials to seek for their rights through making contacts with the Hopkins hospital they turned a deaf ear and this action resulted to an appeal in court where the defense; in this case the hospital, argued that the prosecution; in this case the Lacks family had no direct claim to the benefits since without their efforts would not have come to pass.

Nonetheless it is important to note that regardless of the success a human who was the core foundation behind these massive achievements was not consulted on whether she was willing to offer her body part to form a base of research hereby defiling the ethics of doctrine and scientific practices where viable donors are first consulted. Thus this was a major aspect of human violation. In addition since the family had to be consulted during the contamination period of desperation to act as a major histocompatiable maker. This forms enough proof that they acted as a major resource involvement in the research there afterwards. Without them the pending researches would have come to a halt. It therefore is deemed wise to foster relations between researchers and the donors who will be selected and have to make conundrum decisions of embracing any consequential causes that may accompany the effects of their submission to serve the cause of science for the well being of what the future holds in hand for the human race through their donations.

Legal constraints should therefore be approved and formulated to support this cause of action .Regardless of the fact that Henrietta’s led to more positive results and have informed learning institutes in understanding the intricacy behind cell function through which ,vaccines against polio were realized, treatment for syphilis ,cancer and many other diseases were realized ;it would be a formidable act of gesture for the court to issue an order in favor of Henrietta’s family to implore funds from the defense “the hospital” to offer funds to the family whose member they sought pride from as an act of appreciation of the returns and the bookmarked outcomes of their research trials .This will act as a measure of consolation and prevent further brawls and conflict between them..


Albany, D. (2013). The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Beckham Publications.

Brock, D. (2013). The Most Intimate Revelations about the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks . Kniga po Trebovaniyu.

Cohen, J. (2010). The Best American Science Writting. Harper Collins.

Skeat, A. (2013). 100 Facts about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks That Even Cia Doesn’t Know. Kniga po Trebovaniyu.

Skloot., R. (2010). The Immortal life of Henerietta Lacks. Crown Publishing Group.

Click following link to download this document

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.docx