The
article talked about the immortal cell line called HeLa cells. They were
extracted without consent from an African American woman named Henrietta Lacks
during a medical procedure to treat her cancer. The cells have been used since
then for many research studies and have been involved in the development of many
medications. However, in the process, it evoked ethical issues in biomedical
research. Neither Lacks nor her family gave consent to this. Initially, the
doctors didn’t really break any rules by taking the tissue samples, as rules
concerning this didn’t exist. However, when they were formed years later,
researchers should have sought out for the family. Privacy is another huge
concern as the whole family’s genome was put out to the public for absolutely
anyone to access. The cells are all over the world with many people having
access to it even though it is a “part” of a family member of the
relatives. Also, the family wasn’t even told about this until much later. They
got to know about this 21 years after the cells were extracted only because a researcher
needed their blood. The family members, who should have been the first to know,
found out years later under questionable circumstances.