Woodall's Reviews > The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jul 14, 2011

it was amazing

Certainly, it sounds like a story of fiction, a story about a poor Southern black woman from the 1950’s, who was diagnosed with cancer, who unknowingly ‘donated’ her cancerous cells to the free health clinic where she received care, and who died a horrible, painful death---meanwhile those ‘donated’ cells, unlike any other cultured cells, grew, and grew, and grew--- causing a revolution for medical research and development, all the while unbeknownst to her family of her contribution to humanity! But alas, this is not a story of fiction but instead a page directly torn out of the American history books. The name, Henrietta Lacks, for years had been shrouded in innominatity while her cells, dubbed HeLa, were known by scientists world-round. Her contribution helped in the studies of cloning and gene mapping while also helping to develop life-saving vaccinations. Even to this day, HeLa cells are still the foundation of a multi-million dollar industry – while her family, still stricken with poverty, never received recognition or financial compensation for their mother’s sacrifice. Rebecca Skloot presents us with a captivating and personal story which illustrates the legal, ethical and scientific history of patients’ rights. Is there a balance between honor, ethics, profit, and research when helping humanity? What is the ultimate price? But most importantly, thank you Henrietta.


Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.