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Ethical and Legal Examination of Henrietta Lacks' Case

In regards to the Henrietta Lacks Case
•Describe the demographics of Henrietta Lacks.
•Provide a summary of the researcher's actions.
•What ethical principles in this research are violated?
•What diversity implications are involved?

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The case of Henrietta Lacks is actually quite an interesting from a scientific perspective because is speaks to the very integrity of the profession. There was a time in the United States where the sanctity of the person was not honored and experimentation, in some scientific circles, was deemed acceptable, with or without the consent of the individual or the family, particularly when the person in question had what was considered to be a terminal illness. This is perhaps best demonstrated by what happened to Henrietta Lack post death. Lacks herself was born in the 1920, but only live to the young age of 31, as she died of cervical cancer. She actually went into Johns Hopkins hospital in January of 1951 with some abnormal pain in her abdomen, with blood also being present. By this period in time, doctors were able to quickly diagnose a cancer, even if they did not really understand how it worked. That was the case with Henrietta who was almost immediately diagnosed with cervical cancer. She began radiation treatments almost immediately as well, but the reality was that little could be done to save her. Sadly, she died at the age of 31, obviously not knowing the controversy that would be caused because of what some unwitting doctors did without her consent.

Now, back then, little was known about cervical cancer, so the cells inside the body of Henrietta were deemed to be most worthy of further study. In fact, some members of the medical community believed that tests could be conducted on individuals without their consent if it were deemed to be in the greater good for society. In Henrietta's case, however, tests were not ...

Solution Summary

Roughly 1,000 words of notes related to the case of Henrietta Lacks and the ethical concerns raised in the area of medical research as a result.