The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Questions and Answers
What does the quote by Elie Wiesel mean in reference to this book? We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anquish, and with some measure of human triumph.
Where does this quote appear in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and what's its significance? “She's the most important person in the world and her family living in poverty. If our mother is so important to science, why can't we get health insurance?”
Skloot writes on page 31, "Henrietta signed a consent form that said, 'I hereby give consent to the staff of The Johns Hopkins Hospital to perform any operative procedures and under any anesthetic either local or general that they may deem necessary in the proper surgical care and treatment (blank).' " After signing this, did Henrietta give consent for the medical team to do what was done to her? In regards to this, what rights do you think her family should have now? Why?
What is the central thesis of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks? From the persausive argument found in the book, by the author.
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?
How does Deborah Lacks initially respond to Skloot's request for information in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks?
What does the term "a miserable specimen" by Henrietta's doctors reveal about their attitudes toward her in The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks?
How old were Henrietta's oldest (Lawrence) and youngest (Joe) children when their mother died in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks?
“’Your cells will make you immortal.’ He told Henrietta her cells would help save the lives of countless people, and she smiled. She told him she was glad her pain would come to some good for someone” (Skloot 66). What significance could this statement possibly have not only for Henrietta, but for the doctors involved?
Two theories are given in chapter 27 of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by scientists (Van Valen and Stevenson), one of which believes that HeLa cells are "no longer human." Which of the two theories seems more credible to you? Why? If neither seems plausible to you, what is your theory about Henrietta's cells?
Why did Pattillo agree to help Rebecca Skloot contact Henrietta's family in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks?
What does Dr. Hsu's request at the end of chapter 23 of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks reveal about her attitude towards the Lackses? What does Skloot reveal by ending the chapter with Hsu's request? Why do you think Hsu has this attitude?
Do you think that Henrietta Lacks would have given her explicit consent to have a tissue sample used in medical research if she had been asked?
After reading chapter 4–7 in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, explain what the HeLa cell line allowed scientists to do for the first time. What, in your opinion, is the most important outcome of this (give reasons)?
Why is standardization of procedures considered so critical to scientific research? How can that standardization also limit the growth of research?
Why did the author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks break the book into three sections--"Life," "Death, and "Immortality"?
In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, why did Henrietta initially choose not to tell people about her cancer diagnosis?
Do you believe that TeLinde and Guy had the right to obtain a sample from her cervix to use in their research ?
What is your impression of the people of Turner Station and Clover in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks? What do you think of the doctors’ decisions regarding blood transfusions and discontinuing cancer treatment?
What ethical issues do we see in "Part Two" of Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks?
What does Dr. Hsu's request at the end of chapter 23 of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks reveal about her attitude toward the Lacks family? What does Skloot reveal by ending the chapter with Hsu's request? Why do you think Hsu has this attitude?
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