Thank you, Ms. Lacks
You’ve probably heard of Henrietta Lacks, from whom cells were taken in the 1950s, and is the subject of a best-selling book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”
“The cells were taken without consent from Lacks, an African American mother of five, during a 1951 visit to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, which was racially segregated at the time. Lawrence Lacks ... said the family did not know until many years after his mother’s death that her cells were living in test tubes in science labs across the world,” according to The Washington Post. “Her ‘immortal cells’ led to the development of the polio vaccine, studies of leukemia and AIDS, chemotherapy . ... ”
Johns Hopkins is now naming a research building in her honor. A long-overdue tribute in a case that echoes through medicine, history and the courts. Thoughts? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.