Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
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Does the victimizing of the Lacks continue with this book? I really, really enjoyed this book.
However, I'm left wondering where do the Lacks story go from here. I was saddened by the fact that even though the Lacks owned their own land people in government supplemented housing are living like royalty compared to them, as it was written in the book.
What "percentage" was actually given to the lacks of profits made from this book and does the foundation created truly planned to at least provide them with health insurance and decent housing? or is Ms Skloot just another individual continuing the cycle of profiting off of their ignorance and misfortune, you tell me Amazon readers?
asked by S. Taylor on July 25, 2010
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Showing 1-10 of 13 answers
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Sweetcheeks,

It would still be egregious and unethical!
Deinara answered on July 5, 2011

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Ms Skloot called it as she saw it. Nothing 'victimizing' about that! Anything else is what would have been insulting to Henrietta and her family.

God bless those responsible for the book. The story needed to be told, in ALL its grim, hopeful, unbelieveable, tragic and righteous glory...
Lemon Eater answered on May 24, 2011

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So agree with you!!! Kudos to Ms Skloot for exposing this story, but you are so right, what happens now? Enjoyed the book, I think every African-American should read this!
Derek Perry answered on May 1, 2011

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17
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According to the Lacks Foundation website, it is also contributing to the health care costs for several descendants of Henrietta Lacks.
Band Fan answered on January 16, 2011

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Thank you very much, RCS, for obtaining facts before making a statement and for setting the record straight.
mostserene1 answered on January 13, 2011

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56
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Henrietta's surviving children and grandchildren read and reviewed the book before it was published and agreed with the way it was presented. So far, 5 of the Lacks family have received full tuition (and cost of books) grants from the Lacks Foundation that was set up from the proceeds of this book. I am not the author nor do I know the author. This is information I learned from the Foundation.
rcs answered on December 25, 2010

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Well at least she brought it to the fore front.
Tiffany D. Wooden answered on September 20, 2010

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[Deleted by the author on Sep 1, 2010 7:26:33 AM PDT]

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I loved this book but also wondered WHY and if currently the Lack's family had been compensated. It was just amazing to me, that after all the scientific discoveries that were done and proven, that somehow, the Lacks family is still not made whole.
I felt although the book to me, was presented well, it left me hanging with wonders. Aren't we ALL just people, regardless of the color of our skin? What if this had happened to someone other than an African American woman,? Lot sof wondering here for me.
Sweetcheeks answered on August 25, 2010

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Yes, this book does contribute to the victimization of the Lacks family.
First the author's style is condescending. How would Ms. Skloot sound in her own style, with a no-holds-barred description of her mannerisms, facial expresssions, clothes, and belongings? Just imagine a verbatim representation of her own speech and exclamations -- worse yet, imagine faux-verbatim quotations reconstructed years later from selected second- or third-hand accounts. Who among us would want to be the subjects of such reporting?
And that brings me to the second kind of victimization. While the book raises explicit questions of medical ethics, by implicit example it raises literary ones. I'm sure the author received permissions, etc., but, as she herself writes, ethics encompasses so much more than legality. Using a representation of human beings' lives in print is just as grave as using their tissues, and I don't think this author fulfills her own authorial responsibilities as seriously as she says (rightly) that medical professionals should fulfill theirs.
Marilyn K. Reece answered on August 21, 2010
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