Henrietta Lacks

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by edaubenmire, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. edaubenmire
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    edaubenmire Rookie

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    There are many problematic elements to the way that Skloot portrays Lacks and her family. Much background information such as a having a handicap daughter, a husband who cheats, and being a farmer are unnecessary pieces of information that are irrelevant to the case of the cells and simply noted to draw feelings out of a reader. It is apparent from the way to novel is written that Skloot is on the side of Lacks and her family and therefore portrays them in a way in which more readers will side with them versus the researchers and doctors. If the Lacks family would have been wealthy and had health insurance, this information may have not been noted because the information would not help the case of needing/wanting paid for the cells.

    An interesting statement made at the beginning of the novel, “Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown” (Skloot, 2010), seems as if people should know about Henrietta. At the same time, people advocating for this book are advocating for patient privacy. That seems contradictory. Another point in the novel mentions the colored ward of John Hopkins where Henrietta went for treatment. After further research I have come across numerous statements that say biopsies were taked from all patients, not just colored. The only reason this story came about is due to the success the researcher had with growing and multiplying these specific cells.

    Christoph Lengauer emphasizes the importance of Henrietta Lacks's contribution to science and how she is remembered in the medical community. He states, "Whenever we read books about science, it's always HeLa this and HeLa that. Some people know those are the initials of a person, but they don't know who that person is. That's important history." I think that it is important to know about Henrietta Lacks because it displays many of the problems associated with patient privacy and doctor-patient relationships. The reason we do know about Henrietta is due to a lack of patient privacy which is unethical. I do not think it is important to know about Henrietta’s STD’s, family life, or course of treatment prior to death. This information, whether given by family or through medical records, does not contribute to the importance of the results of these cells through research. The reason we know about Henrietta is the important part and helps the health care industry, as a whole, make laws and regulations in order to protect patients.

    Ethics serve as guidelines for analyzing “what is good or bad” in a specific scenario (MSG). One of the biggest dilemmas facing modern society consists of the emerging trend concerning a lack of ethical leadership (Nunn & Avella, 2017) in the workforce. By learning about Henrietta Lacks and digging deeper into root causes and problems with the overall function of our health care system, I have been able to mentally grow as an ethical leader because I have opened my mind to the multitude of things that can and do occur, regularly. I feel that by being aware and usually appalled by things that are or have occurred, I am more prepared to notice and handle unethical situations.

    Medical professionals need to have a clear conscience when choosing to enter the health care field. I think that this is the most important step in order to help prevent unethical practices. While this is a personal choice, if more people thought consciously about what they are devoting their lives to then maybe they would be more likely to practice with good ethics. The next step in preventing unethical practices is for medical professionals to practice with teams and not individually. By working together, you always have a second set of eyes and ears on any situation and can prevent these unwanted practices before they have a chance to spiral out of control.





    References

    MSG Management Study Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2018, from Leadership Ethics - Traits of an Ethical Leader



    Nunn, S. G., & Avella, J. T. (2017). Symposium Introduction: Achieving Ethical Leadership. Journal of Leadership Studies, 11(2), 37-41. doi:10.1002/jls.21521



    Lantos, J. D. (2016). THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT HENRIETTA LACKS. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 59(2), 228-233. Retrieved from Login
     
  2. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member

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    The book wasn't written for a medical professional. She was a human. It's unfortunate that you didn't like it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. MadChemist
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    MadChemist Active Member

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    Why is this thread in this forum ?
     

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