The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

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According to Rebecca Skloot's book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, how does religious faith help frame the Lackses’ response to, and interpretation of, the scientific information they receive...

According to Rebecca Skloot's book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, how does religious faith help frame the Lackses’ response to, and interpretation of, the scientific information they receive about HeLa? 

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It is difficult for Deborah and other members of Henrietta Lacks's family to understand the scientific implications of how Henrietta's cells have been used. As Deborah believes that the soul is immortal, she is terrified when she finds out that her mother's cells have been crossed with those of a tobacco plant. She imagines her mother as a kind of person-plant, and Deborah also believes that her mother suffers when her cells are used to study AIDS or other diseases.

Deborah, a deeply religious woman, believes that Henrietta's cells still contain Henrietta's spirit, and Deborah regards much of science as what Skloot refers to as "woo-woo stuff" (page 7). Deborah also believes that Henrietta's spirit can still control anyone who messes with the HeLa cells, including Skloot. It is therefore difficult for Deborah to stomach the investigations and experiments her mother's cells go through, and the rest of the family shares her distrust of science and of the author.

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The members of the Lacks...

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