Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

There's not much I can say about this amazing book that others haven't said. I will say that I am so glad Rebecca Skloot perservered through many obstacles and many years to bring this story to the public. I am not sure I would have had the patience, or that many others would have. The incredible backstories behind how Skloot investigated Henrietta's background just add so much to this story. This story made me laugh, brought me to tears, made me angry and helped me see things from a different perspective. Everything a great book should do. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

We can't undo what has been done - doctors taking things from people, using them for research, and never explaining or compensating the patient for it. But we can recognize that we need to change things going forward. I also hope that many of the scientists and researchers who defend things like what was done to Henrietta Lacks and her family can read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and understand that a simple thing, something they would have done and may do in their profession, can have lasting negative effects on people.

I hope this book will not just tell people who Henrietta was but lead to a dialogue that enables medical research to continue, while allowing people to have control over their own cells and biological products.

I really can't say enough about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It is recommended reading for all people. Even if you don't "like science" or "like biographies" or even "like nonfiction," read it anyway. There is a passionate story and an important message everyone should see. Congratulations, Ms. Skloot.

No comments: