Public health ethics

Posted by Winnie Melda on October 17th, 2018

1. Henrietta’s cervical lump

The doctor assumed that is a kind of sexually transmitted diseases mainly syphilis. The doctor assumed this to be the case because the general diagnosis given to all people of the African American race at the time was syphilis. This stereotype bias is as a result of the beliefs of the white Americans that African Americans did have various horrific diseases that they will continue to spread all through their lifetime (Skloot, 2011).

2. The public ward at Johns Hopkins
 After testing for syphilis, the results were negative. The doctor recommended that she be taken to John Hopkins. David drove about 20 miles taking Henrietta to the John Hopkins Hospitals since it was the only major hospital that could treat black patients even though Hopkins did segregate the black American patients to their wards (Skloot, 2011).

3 Pap smear
 Pap smear has enabled doctors to detect the precancerous cells, and this advancement has enabled the detection of precancerous that was not possible in the past. There was no palpable or visible with the naked eye, and there were no physical symptoms. With Pap, smear doctors could detect the precancerous cells and undertake hysterectomy enabling cervical cancer to be prevented.

4. Henrietta, justify without consent
The doctors saw that since the African Americans were being treated for free in public hospitals, then it was fair for them to use these patients in their researches and giving samples without informed consent was a kind of payment.

5. Henrietta over her treatment
 Neither Henrietta nor any member of her family gave the physicians the permission to take her body cells. Permission to do so at that time was neither a customary act nor a medical requirement. Her medical records were also commercialized and published without her consent. From this experience, we learn that harvesting body cells from a patient without his or her consent are not ethically right.

6. Profit from own cells
     Yes, individuals and their family members should profit for their cells and not the doctors. If Henrietta were told that her cells are being harvested for research purpose and helping people with the condition, she would have agreed to it and also agreed on the basis that her family would be taken care off financially after she is gone.
7. Compensation
 Yes, the family is owed money for the commercial activity that companies have benefited from their research in HeLa cells. I do not agree that this family should not be compensated.

Skloot  Rebecca (2011).  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Broadway Books  

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at Melda Research in best nursing writing services if you need a similar paper you can place your order for custom nursing papers.

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Winnie Melda

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Winnie Melda
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