The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Rebecca Skloot
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who was the press officer at the NFIP that wrote to George Gey in 1953 to say that he intended to write a more detailed article about Henrietta Lacks once her name was revealed in the press?

2. What was the name of the BBC documentary that Courtney Speed borrowed from the library to show to Rebecca Skloot when she visited Turner Station?

3. What was the birth name of Henrietta Lacks's fifth child?

4. Where did Chester Southam advertise for medical research volunteers in May of 1956?

5. How much blood did Henrietta's cousin Emmett and his friends donate when they heard Henrietta was in need of transfusions at the hospital?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the objective for Dr. Richard TeLinde in using cancer cells and samples from Howard Jones in his research?

2. What diagnosis did the doctors from Johns Hopkins reach regarding Henrietta's condition after her first visit? What treatment was available at this time for her condition?

3. What led up to Joe Lacks's imprisonment for second-degree murder?

4. Describe the genre and narrative style of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. From whose perspective is the narrative related?

5. What role did Bobbette take in the family after marrying Lawrence? Why?

6. How did the doctors at Johns Hopkins treat Henrietta Lacks after her recurrence of cancer in June of 1951?

7. Who established the first distribution center for HeLa cells? Where was it established?

8. Why were HeLa cells useful in the study of virology and research into diseases? Was the malignant nature of the cells a factor?

9. What led to the trial against Southam and Mendel? What sentence did the men receive?

10. What unethical actions were committed by virologist Chester Southam in his research with HeLa cells?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the controversy surrounding contamination of HeLa cells. Who made this discovery? What did this discovery lead to in terms of further research?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Henrietta Lacks's diagnosis, treatment, and death. What type of cancer was Henrietta diagnosed with? What treatment was available for this type of cancer at the time? How would Henrietta's treatment have differed today?

Essay Topic 3

How does the author depict the repercussions of the loss of a parent in the narrative? How do you think Henrietta's life would have differed if her mother had lived? How would Deborah's life have been changed?

(see the answer keys)

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