Ethical Principles Paper

Ethical Principles Paper - Assessment Activity
Kevin Boyd
July 27,2015
Mr. Daniel Williams Jr.

Ethical Principles Paper - Assessment Activity
Henrietta Lacks was a black woman who was born in Virginia on August 1st, 1920. However, at the age of 21 she moved to Baltimore, Maryland. It is here where the amazing story of Henrietta Lacks took an amazing turn. For years, scientists had been looking for a way to grow human cells outside the body, and had been unsuccessful. But on February 1st, 1951 Henrietta went to the John Hopkins hospital to see a gynecologist, concerning some irregular bleeding. During his examination, Dr. Howard Jones noticed what he called “a purple lesion on the cervix” which to him did not look like cancer, among other things because the lesion in question was purple and bled easily if touched. As it was routine at the John Hopkins hospital at the time, sample collecting of all cancerous tissue should be cut off to be sent to Dr. George Otto Gey for his cell growth research. When Dr. Gey’s laboratory assistant, Mary Kubicek cultivated the sample, Henrietta Lacks would single handedly turn the world and the field of science upside down.
When we look at the definition of the word demography, one finds it means a set of changes which occur in large groups of people over a period of time. In the case of Henrietta Lacks, the demography is as complicated as the case itself. When Henrietta Lacks’ tissue sample was cultivated, as all the other samples before it, this sample did what no other sample had done in Dr. Gey’s laboratory or anywhere else for that matter, it grew. For the first time in human history, the successful growing off human cells outside of the body was finally a reality. This event would set in motion a chain of events which would cause both, awesome results, as well as great disappointments. Dr. Gey named Henrietta’s cells “HeLa Cells” and from that moment on, the experiments began. HeLa...