Monday, May 9, 2011

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

I’m ashamed to say I knew nothing about this subject until I read the book and now that I do I am thoroughly disgusted with the medical research field.

There is a huge contrast between Henrietta Lacks' life and that of her family, with their poverty, lack of schooling and medical problems and the fact that her stolen cells have had a flourishing vocation with contributions to so many aspects of biological advances that has helped to generate millions in revenue for the thieves.

This is a thoughtfully written account showing us Henrietta's family's befuddled detection of what happened to her cells as well as the wider and on-going debate about the ethical use of people's tissues and the financial benefits that can evolve as well as the legal framework that has been put in place since.

I enjoyed but was somewhat horrified by the contents of the book and the implications behind the story.

3 Stars

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