Henrietta Lacks… The Black Women That Saved Millions But Not Herself

Written by keith
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The story of Henrietta Lacks also illustrates the racial inequities that are embedded in the US research and health-care systems. Lacks was a Black woman. The hospital where her cells were collected was one of only a few that provided medical care to Black people. None of the biotechnology or other companies that profited from her cells passed any money back to her family. And, for decades after her death, doctors and scientists repeatedly failed to ask her family for consent as they revealed Lacks’s name publicly, gave her medical records to the media, and even published her cells’ genome online. (Following an outcry, the genome was soon removed.) Nature later published the genome of another HeLa line1 after the Lacks family reached an agreement with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to approve its release.


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