jueves, 10 de enero de 2013

The secret life of Henrietta Lacks

This moth the bookclub has chosen The secret life of Herietta Lacks. The title didnt say anything to me. I expected a book aboot a teen with gets pregnant or something like that.

My idea was far far away from the real book. It is about Hela, a type of cell which is inmortal and belonged to a black women who lived  in the fifties called Henrietta Lacks. 

This is a story about science, The origin and cell culture and the life of this women who died for cancer.
She was extremely poor and her children had to grow up alone.
Until now the most famous cells are Hela but there is no copyright on them. So Henrietta´s descendents are very poor and cannot afford health insurance. 

I have learned a lot about cells and how to culture them. And a topic that has interested me a lot. Nowadays, your cells can be used for cientifical research without your consent. A doctor cannot remove any part of your body without asking permission but every cell removed for a medical procedure, like a mole, or blood, can be used for teaching o for researching. I think it is a very controversial topic because There is a dilemma between privacy and Science. Some people believe that Science is the most important thing and if the consent was need there not will be any medical research anymore. Other people think that our cells are our propiety and we should be paid for any research made with parts of our body.

I dont have a strong opinion about this. I understand that a doctor would like to use my body scraps in order to test illness or virus. But I also understand that some people dont want that, and there are their cells. Personally I dont mind if they take my cells but only for research things related to the medicin. I dont want that my cells travel to the space, or being used for testing make-up. I think the should pay people for their cells because there is a political or economical interest in those researchs. 

The main problem is the money. That was the problem with Hela, Henrietta Lacks cells is a source of money itself because there are firms who sell these cells, but the family dont receive a single penny. Thats the controversial topic, Nowadays everything is money, more than ethic problems. 

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