S4L Book Club – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The BBC makes a documentary about Henrietta and her family.  Roland Pattillo organizes the HeLa Cancer Control Symposium in Atlanta.  The city of Atlanta declares October 11 as Henrietta Lacks Day.  Sir Lord Keenan Kester Cofield enters Deborah’s life and files a lawsuit against her, Johns Hopkins, and many others.

  1. If you had cells that could lead to a great medical discovery, would you donate them for “the good of science,” or would you sell them? Explain your answer.

Categories: Reading

3 replies »

  1. I would like to think I would donate, but I know me enough to say that in reality I would try to negotiate some deal that would make my family benefit in some way. I wouldn’t want to make millions, but I would like the opportunity to keep them from struggling.

  2. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. I don’t know where the balance is, but I can’t see why donors shouldn’t be included in the benefits–unless including them is such a monumental administrative nightmare that it depletes resources. That’s a real possibility, I think.