The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks discussion


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Another Henrietta Lacks Opportunity

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Lorrie Is this the Rialto in Joliet, IL?


Jaksen There are Rialto Theaters all over the US.


Lena I meant to post this in my book club's discussion group. Sorry for the mis-post.


Lorrie Ok, thanks.


T4bsF (Call me Flo) Is "Another Henrietta Lacks Opportunity" a sequel???


Papaphilly This is an absolutely a fantastic read. The money made from her cells is mind boggling and yet not one dime to her family. They are as spoor today and they were when she died and her contribution to science is not known particularly well, yet without her, much of the cancer research doesn't happen. A triumph for science and a tragedy for her family.


message 7: by Pat (last edited Dec 06, 2014 06:07PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pat I would just like to say, for me personally, after 40+ years as a Medical Assistant, I never knew WHY we have the Privacy Act, Powers of Attorney, etc, and ALL the other papers that we have to sign when we go to the Doctors. Every time I am asked to sign one more paper and hear people griping about it, I want to tell them to read this book!
Yes! Do read this book and be grateful for the changes that were made to the Health Care "Business" a good result, from the sad things that occurred to Henrietta and her family.
Every last one of us, owe Henrietta and her family a huge debt. Can you imagine if it had not happened? We would be at the mercy of unscrupulous people. Even more than we are now.

There will always be bad and unethical people in every field. Be it Medicine or Ministry.... But at least we know more about our rights because of this woman and the book. Thanks to Rebecca Wells too. She brought it to our attention.without her persistent efforts to write Henrietta's story, this would have gone by and never been known. And how many others might have or would have ended up like her?


Dhfan4life Pat wrote: "I would just like to say, for me personally, after 40+ years as a Medical Assistant, I never knew WHY we have the Privacy Act, Powers of Attorney, etc, and ALL the other papers that we have to sig..."

Well said. I don't even work in medicine but have heard similar things from family as well. And soooo want them to read this story. Because it really opens your eyes to how people can get away with so much stuff at times. And you have no say so over a damn thing really.


message 9: by Pat (last edited Dec 12, 2014 08:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pat Thank you. Sometimes every single thing is an issue. We have to be on our toes constantly. I don't know if we really don't have any say-so, but I think it is important for each of us to ask questions, and if we don't understand, ask it again.And again, if needed! It is supposed to be the Patient who is the reason for a Doctor or whatever Health Care Professional to exist. We, as Patients have the right to make decisions.

Bottom line, there still should be the differentiation between Medicine and Politics. Church and State. If there is someone older or impaired, physically or mentally, then, hopefully there is a Patient Advocate available. And that they are truly an advocate.

I often think that every single day is a struggle and sometimes I feel quite distressed by the daunting, or for that matter, even simple decisions. However, as I have been told, it is better than pushing up daisies. Life is a struggle. I think it is supposed to build character. Hang in there. Be true to yourself.

Many times I had to remind my former students that if we did not have the Patients, we would not have jobs. One has compassion or does not. It is often something that comes with age and experience.
In order to truly understand, sometimes you have to experience the pain first.


Pamela Mclaren It is an incredible book because we see the good as well as the bad in medicine. What happened to Henrietta was appalling (because of her race, her lack of knowledge, etc.) but her cells have truly helped save lives. You are right Pat that everyone should read this book to begin to realize how important medical papers are -- and the time that it takes to read them. I also think that while they are not the most exciting books to read, it sometimes helps to read about the great illnesses, like The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History and Justinian’s Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe. There is truth to the saying that "history repeats itself" and there are lessons to be learned.


Vickie I feel sad for Henrietta's family, but her cells were distributed FREE for the asking until some big company got involved. No one but Henrietta and the doctor who treated her will truly know if she was asked and understood about her cells being used.

Myself, if I were asked, I would say yes. If it would help find a cure for some disease, I would do so, no compensation needed.


Dhfan4life Pat wrote: "Thank you. Sometimes every single thing is an issue. We have to be on our toes constantly. I don't know if we really don't have any say-so, but I think it is important for each of us to ask questio..."

Oh I was thinking about the one aspect of the book when it mentioned another person, a guy I think found out his cells were being used without his permission. Cause didn't they get them from a tissue or something he used? Can't quite remember how they had acquired them per se. But yea, I was speaking to that point when I said there isn't much we can do about them using those cells that way. Which in a way is true and so creepy to me still.


Connie This is an absolutely a fantastic read. The money made from her cells is mind boggling and yet not one dime to her family. They are as spoor today and they were when she died and her contribution to science is not known particularly well, yet without her, much of the cancer research doesn't happen. A triumph for science and a tragedy for her family.


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