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As human beings, each person is born with certain inalienable rights. This is the basis for the American constitution and should include rights to the body as well as the spirit. The case of Henrietta Lacks was a milestone for medical research and has potentially led to curatives for many illnesses. However, the woman behind this research was never aware of her remarkable body. Henrietta Lacks was a cancer patient who died from her illness. Cells from her body were taken after they were found to be mutagenic. The woman herself was never made aware that her cells had been collected and her next of kin was not made aware of the fact until decades after her passing (Landecker 2000,-page 55). The story of Henrietta Lacks is one where human beings have to question where the line draws on their rights. In this case, researchers did not have…
Brown, Russell and James HM Henderson. (1983). "The Mass Production and Distribution of HeLa Cells at Tuskegee Institute, 1953-1955." J. His Med Allied Sci. 38 (4): 415-43.
Gold, Michael. (1986). A Conspiracy of Cells. State University Press: New York, NY.
Landecker, Hannah. (2000). "Immortality, In Vitro. A History of the HeLa Cell Line." Brodwin,
Paul E. ed, Biotechnology and Culture: Bodies, Anxieties, Ethics. Bloomington. 53-72.
In other words, Lacks's cellular content was taken without her consent, but this would have been the case for a wealthy white woman in the North. This does not make what happened to her morally right, of course, but it is important to remember that what happened to her was not simply because she was poor, female, black, and Southern. The fact that she died from her disease may have been affected by her social status because it limited her ability to get timely medical care. But even this statement must be made cautiously: Her cancer was a very aggressive one and would in all likelihood have proved fatal, especially given the knowledge of the disease at the time and the treatments then available to any woman.
A more recent case demonstrates that little has changed in terms of patient's legal rights to their tissues. In the 1980s, researchers removed…
Skloots, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. New York: Crown, 2010. Print.
Henrietta Lacks is unique in medical history. By chance, her cancer cells held special medical significance, which doctors and scientists discovered after harvesting the tissue post-mortem. The event occurred 50 years ago and the family of Henrietta was not told that her cells were taken. This decision is perfectly in line with medical ethics of the time, though it sits uncomfortably with our modern sensibilities. But ethics do change over time -- they are directly related to values held by the larger culture. In the 1950s, medical experimentation of this caliber was new, and it did not even cross the researchers' minds to inform the family. As Grady mentions in her article, there were other issues involved, including differences in race, class and education between the family and the researchers. Lacks was poor and black and the researchers were rich and white. The doctors probably felt that the family would…
Nurses are always considered helpers and the profession is widely regarded as one for compassionate and helping individuals. The Nursing’s Social Policy Statement is a work that seeks to detail the many ways in which nurses can assist others. How nurses relate with the society is through a relationship. A relationship that is sort of a social contract complete with expectations from both sides. The relationship allows nurses to carry out their professional duties in the provision of care to individual clients and to the society. It also empowers nursing practitioners to engage in policymaking, legislative and political action for the purposes of improving the provision of care, improving nursing practice, improving nursing research, and improving nursing education. It also enables nurses to comprehend the concepts of justice and social ethics and the roles they play in individual and societal health (Fowler, 2015). This work discusses the nursing social contract…
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Many ethical concerns arise in the story of Henrietta Lacks. Privacy is perceived as an ethical dilemma in the present times, however, at the time it occurred it might not have been seen as unethical. Skoot (2010) in the book discusses the unintentionally inconsiderate reporters and researchers who were in violation of the family's privacy by printing and distributing all aspects ranging from the medical records of Henrietta to the genetic information of the family. Such divulgence raises unethical concerns contemporarily, as the disclosure of patient information is not allowed.
In accordance to Gert et al. (2000), a moral agent based on common morality can be delineated as an individual who completely comprehends what is demanded, prohibited, permitted, and affected by moral rules and an individual who can reasonably accepted being guided and also judged by such moral rules. As is known, common…
Bauer, K. A. (2009). Privacy and Confidentiality in the Age of E-Medicine. J. Health Care L. &Pol'y, 12, 47.
Gert, B. (2004). Deciding What to Do. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gert, B., Culver, C. M., & Clouser, K. D. (2000). Common morality versus specified principlism: Reply to Richardson. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 25(3), 308-322.
Skloot, R. (2010). The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks. New York, NY: Broadway Books.
Belmont eport to the case of Henrietta Lacks and how they were violated
The three principle keys in the Belmont eport (1974) involving Henrietta's case were the respect for people, beneficence, and also justice. In respect of the people, two important elements are involved which include all people being treated as autonomous while the other persons with lesser independent autonomy be protected. With beneficence, the researchers should minimize profits while they avoid harming participants. They should also weigh the cost benefit for the participants. Lastly, the justice principle in research compels that benefits made from the research should be well contributed (Scannell, 2010).This means the participants of the research should get a fair share and research can only be conducted on those people who would benefit from it.
These ethics were violated because Ms. Lacks was not treated as an autonomous person hence they retrieved cells from her without her…
Scannell, K. (2010). The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Journal of Legal Medicine, 31(4), 493-498
Tunc, T. (2011). Review of Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. American Journal Of Bioethics, 11(3), 40-41
Henrietta Lacks born August 1, 1920, was an African-American female tobacco farmer who resided in Dundalk, Maryland. She was wife to her first cousin and mother of five children. At the age of 31, Lacks died from cervical cancer. Before she died, a doctor took a sample of her cervical cells. These cells, named HeLa cells, became the immortal cell line that provided a Polio vaccine, aided in cloning, among other scientific breakthroughs. "Henrietta's cells were the first immortal human cells ever grown in culture. They were essential to developing the polio vaccine" (Zielinski, 2010).
HeLa cells have become a benchmark in the study of cellular processes. However, here in lies the controversy. HeLa cells have benefitted many except for the family of the person the sample was derived from. Henrietta Lacks' children, for decades, lived in poverty, with one son homeless. Was it right for a doctor to, without…
Siminoff, L.A., & Traino, H.M. (2013). Consenting to donation: an examination of current practices in informed consent for tissue donation in the U.S Cell and Tissue Banking, 14(1), 85-95.
Skloot, R. (2010). The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks. New York: Crown Publishers.
Truog, R.D., Kesselheim, A.S., & Joffe, S. (2012). Paying Patients for Their Tissue: The Legacy of Henrietta Lacks. Science, 337(6090), 37-38.
Zielinski, S. (2010, January 22). History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian. History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/henrietta-lacks-immortal-cells-6421299/
Africans had poor health care in the 1950s
There is much that still remains swept under the proverbial carpet about America's treatment to its African immigrants. One of the chapters, little known and often left untold has only recently started to emerge and concerns American health care system and its using Blacks as guinea pigs.
Attorney and author Vernellia . Tandall tells the story in her book 'Dying While Black' showing how America's health care system was built on the bodies of African-American individuals from the 19th century continuing to present days. Some f the information is unbelievable at best shocking at worst such as her allegations that AIDS was created by a government-sanctioned health care for the purposes of medical advancement.
Countless stories from Black residents of both North and South tell about how they were unwillingly and unknowingly abducted and exploited for medical experiments. There were the 'night…
Brooking Institute (2008) "Meeting the Dilemma of Health Care Access" (PDF). Opportunity 08: A Project of the Brookings Institution. Retrieved on 2/19/2011
Orlando Sentinel. (Dec., 04. 1993). Clinic On Wheels To Take Health Care To Elderly Poor . retreived 11/7/2011 from http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1993-12-04/news/9312040190_1_clinic-project-care-seniors
Skloot, H. (2010) The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks NY. Random House.
Sean Brosnan was a high school senior. He filled out his applications for college in September of 2015, including an application for early decision to Queens University. In December Brosnan received a thick packet from Queens, which included a glossy brochure entitled, "Welcome to Queens." The first page of the brochure said, "Welcome to Queens!! We are delighted to have you as a member of the university community! We will be holding a place for you in the class of 2020 if you submit a $200 deposit by January 20. We would remind you that by your application for early decision, you indicated your commitment that if you were accepted to Queens, you would withdraw any applications that you have filed to other colleges and universities." The brochure included an "Acceptance Coupon" providing that the signer was making a "definite commitment to attend Queens University during the coming academic year,…
Baranoff, Brockett, and Kahane, "Workers' Compensation Laws and Benefits," Chapter 16,
pages 659 to 707 in Enterprise and Individual Risk Management (v. 1.0).
Employment Contracts: Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society
Schwartz (2006), many arguments are presented, most of which generally criticize the Western treatment of First Nations people or address women's rights issues. As an example, "Aboriginal Australia: Current Criminological Themes" by ick Sarre (2006) focuses on the affect of British colonialism in Australia on the Aborigines, connecting it to a vast overrepresentation of Aborigines in the Australian penal system. "The Left ealist Perspective on ace, Class, and Gender" by Walter S. DeKeseredy (2006) illustrates the fact that, in the United States, it cannot be said that there is 'justice for all;' "First Nations people and African-Americans are much more likely to be arrested, convicted and incarcerated than members of the dominant culture who commit the same crimes" (p. 49). Throughout most of the articles, different approaches to solving such attitudes are explored, such as the left realist theory and the postmodern perspective.
The Female Circumcision Controversy: an Anthropological Perspective…
Abu-Lughod, Lila (ed.). (1998). Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East.
Princeton: Princeton University Press.
An-Na'im, Abdullahi Ahmed (ed.). (1992). Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspectives: A
Quest for Consensus. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Jane Austen's Persuasion: Anne Elliot's Coming Out The writings of Jane Austen are often considered to be the representation of an excessively conservative era. Though this may truly be the case especially in regards to the formal and informal interactions between the opposite genders. A woman's reputation could be made or broken by a simple turn of events. The challenge of maintaining these standards for conduct, where even the minutest misunderstanding might cause years of disassociation seems to be as formidable as any. The story is one of the personal growth of the heroine Anne Elliot. She branches out into a world, limited by her position but much less so than before.
Though waters of social understanding were often murky the reality of Persuasion is such that the heroine, Anne Elliot is assuming the role of "director" of her own life. Austen is telling the story of a woman learning…
Austen, Jane Persuasion. Hertfordshire, UK: Wordsworth Ltd., 1993.
Ethical Issues in Medicine
Ethical Dimensions of esearch Studies
Ethical issues in medicine: Clinical trials and cancer patients.
Clinical trials, in which a treatment or a drug is tested upon human beings, are a vital part of bringing a drug to market. It is essential that the treatment be shown to be safe, effective, and better than existing treatments of similar cost and safety levels. However, when developing a drug for patients who are facing a potentially terminal diagnosis such as cancer patients, the ethics of using clinical trials becomes extremely murky. "To advance the science of medicine and improve the care of patients, we need the objective data that can only be gained from clinical trials, in which outcomes are dispassionately analyzed. But the patients in cancer trials are not data points; they are vulnerable people who often view a clinical trial as perhaps their last hope" (Markman 2003:…
Markman, Maurie. (2003). The needs of science vs. The needs of patients. Cleveland Clinic
Journal Of Medicine, 70. 12. Retrieved: http://ccjm.org/content/70/12/1008.full.pdf