Her cells, taken without her knowledge or consent, were labeled HeLa and triggered major advances in medical science.
In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, science writer Rebecca Skloot explores the medical, ethical, and financial issues behind the famous HeLa cells, the first “immortal” cells grown in culture. She also befriends Mrs. Lacks’ surviving family members, who were unaware for 20 years of their mother’s “contribution” to science.
Skloot’s technique of interweaving the medical information with the Lacks family history-past and present-makes what could be a rather dry subject extremely readable.
This book was universally popular with my book club. I highly recommend it–thought provoking and poignant.