henrietta lacks book review

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Book Assignment: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Papers should be well thought out, with a clear thesis and argument to support your thesis, using the text for evidence.

Choose ONEof the following writing prompts as thefocusfor your paper:

1. Scientific Discovery: Discuss the medical breakthroughs from HeLa cells. Have your attitudes or ideas towards medical research changed in any way due to reading this book? What do you suppose the current state of healthcare would be like had it not been for HeLa cells?

2. Ethical Argument: In the years since the uniqueness of Henrietta Lacks’s cells were discovered, others have been identified with cells that are valuable on the research market. In Chapter Five, Skloot details the history of John Moore, whose cells produced rare proteins, and Ted Slavin, whose cells produced valuable antibodies. All three cases are quite different in many ways, including how their doctors used the information. Should individuals be able to profit from their own cells? Should their doctors? With consent? Do you think Henrietta would have provided consent for her cells to be taken and used had she been asked? Should the Lack’s family receive compensation for Henrietta’s cells?

3. Social Justice: The author notes social inequities both explicitly and implicitly. What parts of Henrietta’s story might be different if she had been white? What might have been different if she had been middle or upper-middle class? How do social inequalities affect health care today?

Papers should be submitted on Canvas. Papers must be in a WORD or PDF format, 1.5 spaced and in 12 font—and no more than 3 pages.

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