Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 9 years ago

Ethical issues related to HeLa cells?

Our class will be having HeLa cells as a topic for a a debate, more specifically, about if scientists or companies can commercialize a patient’s cells or tissues, doesn’t that patient, as provider of the raw material, deserve a say about it and maybe a share of any profits that result?

What are the pros? What are the cons? Thank you for the big help.

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Today the permission of the patient, or if she was deceased, the permission of her family would be required. In the 1950's, that was not the case.

    Source(s): biologist
  • 9 years ago

    I would recommend learning more about Henrietta Lack's life and death. For the pro-patient side, imagine Lack was your mother or wife to help personalize the issue (avoid using the term "HeLa" which removes her humanity by removing her name).

    For the con side, I would recommend learning more about the specific clinical trials and advances possible through the use of her cells and imagining yourself or a family member affected by something like polio, the vaccine of which was tested by Jonas Salk using Lack's cells.

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