Research on Henrietta Lacks with Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

Research on Henrietta Lacks with Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

Research on Henrietta Lacks with Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

Henrietta Lacks was a woman whose cell line became popular among scientists and used to create vaccines. However; she didn’t benefit from it. She was born in August 1, 1920 a woman of the African American descent, to a family of tobacco farmers in Roanoke, Virginia. She married her fist cousin Day lacks at the age of14 and had two children; Lawrence and Elsie.

Together with her husband they moved from Virginia to Maryland. They had three other children namely; David, Deborah and Joseph, who was born in November 1950 four month later, she was diagnosed with cancer. At Johns Hopkins hospital, which treated black people, she met Doctor Jones, who examined the inflammation in her cervix.

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The study has shown contradiction between the need for medical study by the state to enhance human kind’s health and the need to selfishly profit in the name of science improvement. It involved the hidden prejudice of mistrust and deception against the participants.

The experiments exposed racial discrimination in America and created mistrust of the government and the medical profession by the black people. It’s surprising that none of the doctors was charged with the heinous experiments that caused human suffering and eventual deaths. However, studies like these should be done while respecting peoples’ dignity and their fundamental rights.

Brandt, A. M. (1978). Racism and research: the case of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Hastings Center Report, 8(6), 21-29.
Green, B. L., Maisiak, R., Wang, M. Q., Britt, M. F., & Ebeling, N. (1997). Participation in health education, health promotion, and health research by African Americans: effects of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. Journal of Health Education, 28(4), 196-201.

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