Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1951. She was treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she became a patient of Dr. George Gey. Gey took cells from her tumor without her knowledge or consent and used them to create an immortal cell line, which he named HeLa.
HeLa cells were essential in developing the polio vaccine, and have been used in countless other medical breakthroughs. However, Henrietta and her family were never compensated for the use of her cells, and they were not even aware that they had been taken until decades after her death.
Rebecca Skloot tells the story of Henrietta Lacks and her family in a clear and engaging way. She also addresses the ethical issues surrounding the use of HeLa cells, and the unequal treatment of African Americans in the medical profession.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is an important book that sheds light on a little-known chapter in medical history. Skloot tells a compelling story that is sure to educate and inspire readers.