Sophia’s #CBR4 Review #9 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
I first saw The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2011) by Rebecca Skloot on my mother’s nightstand. She’s a librarian and often gets word of good books before me. So when I saw it again on the library’s kindle page, I immediately put a hold on it.
I enjoy reading non-fiction because I like to learn new things and understand other people’s lives. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a fascinating book for a number of reasons. This book looks into the lives of a very poor, black family in the South, medical research, the development of cellular cultures, and the ethics of taking tissues from patients and the patients’ right to be informed.
Henrietta Lacks is a poor, black woman, whose ancestors were slaves. When she was receiving treatment and dying of cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins in the 1950’s, scientists took some of the cancerous cells from her tumour. These cells were the first cells that scientists were able to cultivate. Because of the cells’ hardiness, they were used in countless experiments throughout the world. No one in the Lacks family gave permission for this and they did not learn of it until twenty years after her death. The revelation that their mother was spread all over the world affected her children deeply.
Read the rest here.