The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Themes

Rebecca Skloot
This Study Guide consists of approximately 57 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
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Ethics

A strong theme that runs through the story of Henrietta Lacks and her “immortal” cells is one of ethics. It was 1951 when Henrietta felt a “knot” in her lower torso area. It wasn’t painful, but it was did exist. When it started to hurt, she finally went to the colored section of the public ward at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Her “knot” was a tumor. When tested, it proved to be malignant. Henrietta was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Patients who were treated in the public ward at Johns Hopkins Hospital did not pay for their treatment. Some doctors and professionals and the hospital felt it was acceptable to take tissues from these patients to use for research and study in the hospital lab. After all, they weren’t paying customers. Using their tissue was a form of payment for services. It was under these circumstances and this...

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This section contains 1,012 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Study Guide
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