«I can’t believe all that’s my mother

Use of a Woman’s Cells Raises Ethical Questions

canada goose outlet parka Fifty years after Henrietta Lacks died of cervical cancer in the «colored» ward at Johns Hopkins Hospital, her daughter finally got a chance to see the legacy she had unknowingly left to science. A researcher in a lab at Hopkins swung open a freezer door and showed the daughter, Deborah Lacks Pullum, thousands of vials, each holding millions of cells descended from a bit of tissue that doctors had snipped from her mother’s cervix. canada goose outlet parka

canada goose outlet trillium parka black Ms. Lacks Pullum gasped. «Oh God,» she said. «I can’t believe all that’s my mother.» canada goose outlet trillium parka black

canada goose coats uk When the researcher handed her one of the frozen vials, Ms. Lacks Pullum instinctively said, «She’s cold,» canadian goose jacket and blew on the tube to warm it. «You’re famous,» she whispered to the cells. canada goose coats uk

canada goose outlet canada Minutes later, peering through a microscope, she pronounced them beautiful. But when she asked the researcher which were her mother’s normal cells and which the cancer cells, his answer Canada Goose Outlet revealed that her precious relic buy canada goose jacket cheap was Canada Goose Parka not quite what it seemed. The cells, he replied, were «all just cancer.» canada goose outlet canada

canada goose outlet reviews The vignette comes from a gripping new book, «The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks» (Crown Publishers), by the journalist Rebecca Skloot. The story of Mrs. Lacks’s grown children (one fries her a pork chop, and another slams her against a wall) is by turns heartbreaking, funny and unsettling. The book raises troubling questions about the buy canada goose jacket way Mrs. Lacks and her family were treated by researchers and about whether patients should control or have financial claims on tissue removed from their bodies. canada goose outlet reviews

canada goose outlet factory The story began in January 1951, when Mrs. Lacks was found to have cervical cancer. She was treated with radium at Johns Hopkins, the standard of care in that day, but there was no canada goose uk outlet stopping the cancer. Her doctor had never seen anything like canada goose coats it. Within months, her body was full of tumors, and she died in excruciating pain that October. She was 31 and left five children, the youngest just a year old. She had been a devoted mother, and the children suffered terribly without her. canada goose outlet factory

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canada goose outlet locations in toronto Neither Mrs. Lacks nor any of her relatives knew that doctors had given a sample of her tumor to Dr. George Gey, a Hopkins researcher who was trying to find cells that would live indefinitely in culture so researchers could experiment on them. Before she came along, his efforts had failed. Those immortal cells soon became the workhorse of laboratories everywhere. HeLa cells were used to develop the first polio vaccine, they were Canada Goose Outlet launched into space for experiments in zero gravity and they helped produce drugs for numerous diseases, including Parkinson’s, leukemia and the flu. By now, literally tons of them have been produced. canada goose outlet locations in toronto

canada goose outlet sale Dr. Gey did not make money from the cells, but they were commercialized. Now they are bought and sold every day the world over, and they have generated millions in profits. canada goose outlet sale

canada goose jacket outlet store The Lacks family never got a dime. They were poor, with little education and no health insurance, and some had serious physical or mental ailments. But they didn’t even know that tissue had been taken or that HeLa cells even existed until more than 20 years after Mrs. Lacks’s death. And they found out only by accident, when her daughter in law met someone from the National Cancer Institute who recognized her surname and said he uk canada goose was working with cells from «a woman named Henrietta canada goose clearance sale Lacks.» canada goose jacket outlet store

canada goose outlet in toronto The daughter in law rushed home and told Mrs. Lacks’s son, Lawrence, «Part of your mother, it’s alive!» canada goose outlet in toronto

canada goose outlet uk sale When they learned that their mother’s cells had saved lives, the family felt proud. But they also felt confused, a https://www.arconserve.ca bit frightened, used and abused. It had never occurred to anyone to ask permission to take their mother’s tissue, tell them that her cells had changed scientific history or even to say thank you. And certainly no one had ever suggested that they deserved a share of the profits. canada goose outlet uk sale

canada goose outlet belgium Some of the Lackses later gave blood to Hopkins researchers, thinking they were being tested for cancer, when really the scientists wanted their genetic information to help determine whether HeLa cells were contaminating other cultures. When Ms. Lacks Pullum asked a renowned geneticist at the hospital, Victor McKusick, about her mother’s illness and the use of her cells, he gave her an autographed copy of an impenetrable textbook he had edited, and, Ms. Skloot writes, «beneath his signature, he wrote a phone canada goose black friday sale number for Deborah to canada goose store use for making appointments to give more blood.» canada goose outlet belgium

canada goose outlet uk fake A less charitable view is that it might have made the Lackses easier to ignore. When the family’s story became known cheap canada goose uk in the black community in Baltimore, Ms. Skloot writes, it was seen as the case of a black woman whose body had been exploited by white scientists. canada goose outlet uk fake

canada goose outlet winnipeg address Ideas about informed consent have changed in the Canada Goose sale last 60 years, and the forms now given to people having surgery or biopsies usually spell out that tissue removed from them may be used for research. But Ms. Skloot points out that patients today don’t really have any canada goose coats on sale more canada goose control over removed body parts than Mrs. Lacks did. Most people just obediently sign canada goose uk black friday the forms. canada goose outlet winnipeg address

canada goose outlet jackets Which is as it should be, many Canada Goose Jackets scientists say, arguing Canada Goose Coats On Sale that Mrs. Lacks’s immortal cells were an accident of biology, not something she created or invented, and were used to benefit countless others. Most of what is removed from people is of no value anyway, and researchers say it would canada goose factory sale be too complicated and would hinder progress if ownership of such things were assigned to patients and royalties had to be paid. canada goose outlet jackets

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canada goose outlet woodbury But in an age in which people can buy songs with the click of a mouse, that argument may become Canada Goose online harder to defend. canada goose outlet woodbury

canada goose outlet new york city So far, the courts have sided with scientists, even in a case in the 1980s in which a leukemia patient’s spleen and other tissues uk canada goose outlet turned out to be a biomedical gold mine for his doctor. The patient, John Moore, sued his doctor after discovering that the doctor had filed for a patent on his cells and certain proteins they made, and had created a cell line called Mo with a market value estimated at $3 billion. Mr. Moore ultimately lost before the California Supreme Court. canada goose outlet new york city

canada goose outlet buffalo As Ms. Skloot writes in her last chapter, this issue is not going away. If anything, it may become increasingly important, because the scale of tissue research canada goose clearance is growing, and people are becoming savvier about the money to be made and also the potential for abuse if tissue samples are used to ferret out genetic information. canada goose outlet buffalo

canada goose outlet uk The notion of «tissue rights» has inspired a new category of activists. The question that comes up repeatedly is, if scientists or companies can canada goose uk shop commercialize a patient’s cells or tissues, doesn’t that patient, as provider of the raw material, deserve a say about it and maybe a share of any profits that Canada Goose Online result? Fewer people these days may be willing to take no for an answer. canada goose outlet uk

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canada goose outlet price The cheap Canada Goose Second Opinion column on Tuesday, about Henrietta Lacks, who unknowingly contributed cancer cells to medical researchers before her death in 1951, misstated the surname of one of her children at one point. As noted elsewhere in the column, she is Deborah Lacks Pullum, not Pullum Lacks canada goose outlet price.

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