The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Questions and Answers
by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks book cover
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Do Dr. George Gey's attitude and actions after his own diagnosis of terminal cancer change your opinion of him? Explain your answer.

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Rebecca Skloot presents a nuanced portrait of George Gey that includes his passion for conducting cancer research as well as several issues regarding informed consent of which many readers will disapprove. Because Gey died in 1970, long before Skloot began her research, she did not have the opportunity to interview him. Her analysis of Gey is largely dependent on his writings, scientific journal articles, and secondary sources.

By 1951, when Henrietta became a patient at the Johns Hopkins medical center, George Gey had already been conducting cancer research for three decades. Margaret Gey, his wife, worked closely with him. In 1943, experiments with mice had shown that cells from a single sample could be kept alive and replenish themselves. Gey wanted to...

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