The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Discussion

Discussion Questions for the movie “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” After viewing the video, answer the following questions in complete sentences ( find the movie online OR the book summary)

1. How has medical science been advanced by the study of Henrietta Lacks’ cells? Give 2 examples.

2. What factors (race, class, gender, “the times”) do you think were responsible for Henrietta’s cells being taken from her without her permission? What factors do you think were responsible for her family being kept in the dark about the many ways in which the study of her cells were contributing to medical science? How might this affect future clinical research studies?

3. Was it “unethical” for researchers to take (and profit from) Henrietta’s cells without her permission? Why? Why not? (Define “ethical” and “unethical”.)

4. What changes in research on human subjects resulted, directly and indirectly, from the Lacks case?

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