Eye opening. When asked to describe this book…. eye opening. Questions about bioethical issues have run around in my head since I read it. Things of which I question and know little.
Most cells die but Henrietta’s didn’t. More than 60 years since her death, Henrietta’s cells, known as HeLa, continue to multiply. They were responsible for the polio vaccine being developed as well as many other advancements in science, past and present.
Ms. Skloot has written the Lacks family’s story in an engaging and informative style. She tells of their poverty and of their lack of knowledge that Henrietta’s cells were being used and that others were profiting from them and how learning about the cells caused legal and emotional ramifications for members of the family.
“At this point no case law has fully clarified whether you own or have the right to control your tissues. When they’re part of your body, they’re clearly yours. Once they’re excised, your rights get murky. “