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May 30, 2017

Henrietta Lacks, Oprah, Science and the Right of Privacy

Oprah’s HBO movie The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, based on the New York Times bestseller, highlights the issues between ethics, race, medicine and the right of privacy. Henrietta Lacks, a poor, black, cancer-stricken woman had tissue taken from her without her consent in the 1950’s. Her cells, known as HeLa, became an important part in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization, cloning and gene mapping and have been used in the medical field since the early 1950’s for medical research. For years her own family had no idea her cells were being used in this...
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