Henrietta Lacks Research Paper

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Jonathan Cink BGEN 194US Sep, 24 2015 INTRO BLAH BLAH The Use of Lacks’ Cells Was Ethical Henrietta Lacks’ cells were used for the betterment of humanity and society, not solely for the use of some cash grab ploy. The original and overall intentions of the doctors involved were for the advancement of medical research, resulting in the accidental discovery of self-reproducing cells. Rebecca Skloot discusses how the cells were used beneficially, “Her cells were part of research into the genes that cause cancer and those that suppress it; they helped develop drugs for treating herpes, leukemia, influenza, hemophilia, and Parkinson's disease; and they've been used to study lactose digestion, sexually transmitted diseases, appendicitis, human longevity...”…show more content…
It was morally wrong for the medical industry to profit off of stolen cells when the only reason that those cells exist is due to the cancer that ultimately killed Lacks. “Only cells that had been transformed by a virus or a genetic mutation had the potential to become immortal.”(Skloot, 2010, p.217) This miracle of a discovery also left five kids motherless and broke. As companies profited from medical advances and millions of lives were saved, Henrietta’s children were left in such shambles that they couldn't even afford health care for themselves.“Hopkins say they gave them cells away,” Lawrence yelled, “but they made millions! It’s not fair! She’s the most important person in the world and her family living in poverty. If our mother so important to science, why can’t we get health insurance?” (Skloot, 2010, p.168) Morally, her kids are entitled to some sort of aid, considering her mother didn’t get the recognition for her role in medical advancements that she deserved until more than 35 years later. The free medical aid that Lacks did receive did not save her life and only added to her suffering. Based on Immanuel Kant’s philosophies, particularly the categorical imperative, which says, “Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal…show more content…
The amount of work and resources that goes into creating money from one's tissues, when in comparison to the donation is negligible compared to the outcome. Based on the deontological form of philosophy it is a person's duty to morally protect society from medical illness and the suffering that is associated with it. The deontology philosopher Peter Singer discusses this idea, “It is within our power to prevent suffering from...and medical care. We ought, morally, to do it.”(Singer, 1972, p.235) With this practice of ethics utilitarianism is a principle that explains why people shouldn’t monetarily rewarded for their actions. Rather simply do the greatest good for the most amount of people with their donations to medical research, not focus on themselves. Utilitarinism is a form of This ties back into why the actions of the doctors not needing permission from Henrietta Lacks, was ethically acceptable. Doing so saved and helped millions of people, focusing on the greatest good and society as a whole and not just the individual. When the principle of

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