The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Part 2

What do you think about the reading?

Part 2 of the book keep me interested and wanting to know more. I was amazed on how the cells become well known and used so often in such a short amount of time. I also loved how Rebecca Skloot showed the affect of Henrietta’s death on her family. It shows Henrietta’s influence on her family.

What did you learn?

In part 2 I learned much more about Henrietta’s family. In part one they were introduced, but there was not much information about them. In part 2 I saw how badly Henrietta’s children were treated by Ethel. Deborah was the most mistreated out of the three children and she was constantly harassed by Galen. Also the family’s view on the cells are shown in this part of the book. They family does not mind that the cells are being used for research and helping others, but they do believe that since the cells are Henrietta’s that they should receive money or some other sort of compensation for using Henrietta’s cells. When the polio epidemic happened in 1951, the HeLa cells were used to help research for a vaccine against the polio. This was just one of the medical breakthroughs that these cells helped create.

What questions do you still have?

Part 2 of the book answered most of my questions from part one, but now there are more unanswered questions. First, are the HeLa cells still being used for research today, and if they are what else did they help create? Also did the Lacks family end up getting anything from the HeLa cells, such as any compensation at all, or are they just stuck with nothing?


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