‘Do Right By Henrietta Lacks’ Family Attorney Asks

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Henrietta Lacks, a Black woman, died in 1951 after being treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where her cancer cells were taken from her body and studied without her knowledge or consent. Now her family is suing a pharmaceutical company over the use of her cells, which form an immortal ‘cell line’ that reproduces endlessly outside the body, and has been used extensively in tests ranging from drug development to space flight. Yet, her heirs have received no compensation. Ron Lacks, grandson of Henrietta Lacks, and Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Lacks Family, join Joy Reid on the lawsuit. 
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  • Comments

    Getridda BigtechMedia says:

    Whoever pushed this story didn't pay enough to add anti Trump rhetoric to the title. AKA no big likes from this dumb story.

    Ringo 17 says:

    I read the Book. Maybe you should. Henrietta Lacks received the same care at Johns Hopkins as anyone else in the 50's. All you people think about is money. First, she knew she was very sick when she finally went to the Hospital. One of the top Hospitals in the USA that accepted Colored People, and it was free. Second she was impregnated by her First Cousin, and had several children by him. Whoever heard of getting paid for a part of your body that represented nil to anyone but a scientist who preserved a portion of the cells from her body. If I Will my Body for research, should my children be compensated? If someone donates a Kidney or Blood, or any Body parts should they be compensated. You think you would be proud that someone's cells benefited the Human
    Race. Nine out of ten, I bet not one of the 'relatives' would have ever know about this story except Oprah picked it up. Let her give you greedy cretins money, and
    be done with it. Or maybe read and buy the Book .

    Lana Wallace says:

    The epitome of black excellence and the greatness that our cells are capable of. Thank you to her and all the other black (and also Jewish from WWII) bodies harvested for medical purposes, because of the evils done to them in the name of science we have all these advancements today! I hope her loved ones win their lawsuit 💪🏽🖤 🙌🏽

    Gwendolyn Hinson says:

    Speechless!!! smh

    Rayagoldendropofsun says:

    Henrietta Lacks body cells could Regenerate and live forever, awesome !

    This also shows that some Star's may live on forever by regenerating it's cells, which should put a little discomfort on the Big Bang theory .

    Nathaniel Krefman says:

    Henrietta Lacks did not give informed consent, and her living descendents are owed some compensation for the loss of their medical privacy. At the same time, Ben Crump is wrong to imply that all of the billions in profits in the pharma industry is purely because of HeLa cells. That is hyperbole. Thermo Fisher Scientific is not the only distrubutor of HeLa cells. Anyone, including the family, could sell them, and labs share them routinely. The cells literally copy themselves. The only reason they are sold for so much money is that it takes lab facilities and lab technicians to keep then alive and sterile. In fact, what the family should do is start a foundation to culture and distribute them as the only authentic, Lacks-family endorsed source. I do believe other vendors might stop distributing them and most scientists would prefer to source them from the Lacks family. It’s also worth noting that the reason her cells are so widely utilized is that HeLa was the first immortalized human cell line. But after HeLa, many others were established. HeLa remain popular because scientists generally like to work on very well-studied systems, for instance because of the community resources available and because you can dig deeper and deeper scientifically.

    cwall rollins says:

    Henrietta lacks has given the world so much. Her family deserve compensation.

    Janet Howard says:

    Her cells were reproduced as said and companies have made billions over decades

    WPAtostay says:

    I hope the family gets billions

    Lynn Runningdeer says:

    Can someone please tell me what color Mr. Crumps suit is?🤔

    Janina Carter says:

    Oh Sh!t Ben Crump wins millions for his clients. I bet this company is freaking out!

    Janet Howard says:

    They harvestedher cells for decades. I don't think ther was such a issue as donating your organs, especially for Black Folks. As always we give so much and get squant in return.

    Glorious Exceptionalism says:

    It's about time

    Jamie Hyman says:

    If companies have profited off of Henrietta Lacks’ cells her family should’ve as well!!!🤔🤨

    Mary Lee says:

    Sad and disgusting how they have
    treated people of color and so
    many other hidden cases still out
    there .

    imiss toronto says:

    There was a book written about this whole 'escapade' by Rebecca Skloot. It was difficult to put down but it really was appalling the lack of care she received. I have to wonder if she had been white would they have taken her cells without asking?

    Princess Johnson says:

    Oh wow really wow please

    R M says:

    Thanks for this story.

    Maura Donahue says:

    I did know of Henrietta Lacks prior to this, but I had never seen her before. She is stunningly beautiful — inside and out. It was such a violation to harvest and use her cells without her knowledge or consent, and her death was surely a huge loss to her whole family and community. That such huge advances in science and medicine could be made because of what was taken from her is surely a blessing for humanity. But that she wasn’t offered the simple respect and decency of the scientific community ASKING her, well that surely does put a blemish on the scientists and corporations. This family is certainly owed a good portion of the profits from the use of their mother’s / grandmother’s miraculous cells. Bless Henrietta and her family. 💜

    Democrats are Racist says:

    Was she an organ donor?

    Nick T says:

    well…what laws were in place at the time? although, if this woman's cells were used to create medical breakthru's, why not give them a little something.
    HIPAA is relatively new…

    TooBadThatDidn'tKillMe says:

    Just the latest in the line of whites benefitting and profitting off blacks. 🤷🏾‍♂️

    Paula Figueroa says:

    She was not treated like a rat, that’s a lie! They studied her cells and those cells were samples to the lab. The one that deserves recognition is the Biologist that established the cell line, otherwise these cells would be in trash from that time.

    Paula Figueroa says:

    I’m sorry to say that the lady in question is not going to benefit at all of the serendipity that her cells were immortal. It is sad, but it is true. You know why? Because she died, she’s not immortal, just one of her tumor cells was immortal, that’s it.

    Jennifer Hizzy says:

    Thank you Henrietta

    Ice 9 Snowflake says:

    Henrietta Lacks a smile.

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