Ethical Issues In Social Work

1494 Words6 Pages
I empathize a great deal for Henrietta Lacks and her family. Her story is a perfect example of extreme violation of privacy and injustice. Being a social worker and reading this book made me so upset. One of the most obvious issues in this book is Henrietta did not give permission for doctors to take her cells. Her story is a classic example of the sacrifice the scientific community struggles with in pursuit of the better good, for all. I am not against research and the better good for all. After all scientists and surgeons take samples of peoples’ cells to develop all kinds of vaccines to help save peoples lives. However, when cells are collected without informed consent it raises ethical questions and intent. It sends the wrong messages on many different levels. Especially…show more content…
According to the CSWE (2015) each person, regardless of position in society, has basic human rights, such as freedom, safety, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care, and education. Henrietta’s and her family’s rights were taken from them. As a Social worker it is important to recognize the global interconnections of oppression and become knowledgeable about theories of justice and strategies to promote human and civil rights. Social work incorporates social justice practices in organizations, institutions, and society to ensure that these basic human rights are distributed equitably and without prejudice. I feel that Henrietta and her family was violated in every way possible, her basic human right were violated when doctors took her cells without her consent. The health care system failed her and her family. Henrietta’s did not have much education nor did the members in her family and Doctor/researchers used that against them, instead of educating them and informing them and giving them a choice about how and for what HeLa cella would be
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