The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacksby Skloot, Rebecca
Henrietta Lacks lived a nondescript life as a Southern tobacco farmer, and when she became ill her health care was relegated to the inferior colored wards of segregated hospitals. The color of her skin closed many doors in Henrietta's life, and she died a poor, young woman ravaged by cancer. No one, not even her family, knew that Henrietta's cancerous cells, taken without her knowledge, would live on in immortality, endlessly multiplying in laboratories around the world, traveling to space, and aiding scientists in the development of such important discoveries as the Polio vaccine. HeLa cells opened multitudes of doors for science and generated millions of dollars in profits, while the woman they belonged to and her family never received credit or monetary compensation.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a highly researched and detailed account of Rebecca Skloot's ten-year journey to discover the truth about HeLa cells and the woman they belonged to. This rich narrative reads like fiction as the author paints an illuminating view of the segregated South of the past and the poverty and racial divide that still exists there today. This excellent first work by author Skloot painstakingly explores the world of bioethics, who owns our bodies, and how that ownership is often null and void when it comes to the greater good.
Reviewed by cc, 12/11. Other reviews by cc. Have you read this book? Tell us what you think!