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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks review
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
Henrietta Lacks was born to tobacco farmers in the first half of the twentieth century. In the early fifties, at the age of thirty, was diagnosed with cervical cancer, though it was, by the time she visited the doctor, quite advanced. Despite treatment, she succumbed to the disease, but a sample of the cancerous cervical cells were kept for study, and those cells helped developed a multi-million dollar industry. Her family knew nothing of the HeLa cells (as they were eventually named), and The Immortal Life...
delves into not only the history of the Lacks's family, but of the medical industry, ethics, patient and familial consent processes.
If you're interested in history, biology and medical ethics, this might be a good book for you. It's a pretty quick read and written in a very accessible manner-- informative without requiring a degree in biology, yet without over simplifying things to the point of pablum.
/ [Ms. Steel
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