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

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks book cover
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“’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?

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In Chapter 8 of Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Henrietta Lacks is dying of metastasizing cervical cancer. Earlier, doctors collected cells from her cervix without telling her. As Skloot writes, "No one had told Henrietta that TeLinde [the surgeon] was collecting samples or asked if she wanted to be a donor" (page 33).

By Chapter 8, Henrietta Lacks is in a great deal of pain. Skloot quotes Henrietta's medical record: "Henrietta is a miserable specimen...She groans. She is constantly nauseated and claims she vomits everything she eats" (page 66). As she lies in the hospital...

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