Episode summary introduction:
Picking up right where we left off... Dr. Gey discovered that Henrietta's cancer cells did something that no others’ had done. They replicated, doubling about every 24 hours, indefinitely. See, normal cells generally die after about 50 divisions. Dr. Gey had tried to grow cells in culture numerous times before but without success. Remember that Henrietta was 30 years old at the time of her diagnosis of cervical cancer.
The reason her cells were so remarkable was because the HeLa cells would become the most widely used cell line in biological research.
Her gift of Life. We discuss some of the medical advancement of the HeLa cell line.
The ethical and legal ramifications of what happened to Henrietta and what continues to happen is discussed.
I completely understand that medicine has changed drastically in the last 70 years. We have advancements in medicine and informed consents. With that being said, I know I feel a certain way about me, my body, and person being used unknowingly in medical research, medical advances and treatments. We must consent to donate blood or organs or to even have surgeries. Why wouldn’t we be given the opportunity to consent to scientific research of us or the opportunity to destroy our bodily properties? Why shouldn’t I or my family be compensated? Most importantly, why shouldn’t the Lacks family be compensated?