The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Read the work about Henrietta Lacks and post your responses to the following questions & statements.

* While legal / if legal, what are the ethical implications of this case?
* Who actually owns human tissues removed in an operation?
* Compare to the legal stance regarding discarded items in one’s garbage put out for collection.
* The Constitution guarantees us a large degree of privacy; however, current developments in DNA research have opened new questions regarding the individual’s right to privacy versus the public’s need to know. Additionally, corporations are copyrighting individual gene segments, creating more problems regarding privacy and ownership.
* Why did researchers want DNA samples from Henrietta’s family?
* Why did the Lacks family think the doctors were taking their blood?
* What legal options do the Lacks have?
* If Henrietta Lacks could know how important her cells have been to science, do you think she would approve of the fact they were taken from her without her knowledge or consent? Explain your answer.
* From a legal standpoint, how is the fact that the doctors failed to obtain consent prior to taking blood from the Lacks family in 1973 different from their initial failure to obtain consent from Henrietta in 1951?
* How have laws regarding medical privacy changed since the early 1980?


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