The Friday 56: #4

Each week, Freda’s Voice holds The Friday 56, a booking meme. Essentially, you just grab a book, turn to page 56, post a sentence or a few sentences, and then join the link-up.

This week, I’m reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a really fascinating look at the creation of and fall-out over HeLa cells. HeLa cells have been used in a lot of medical research—but they came at a price. Henrietta Lacks didn’t know her cells were being used. Her family didn’t know.

The book brings up all kinds of interesting ethical questions and dilemmas, and it’s a well-crafted narrative.

Soon, George told a few of his closest colleagues that he thought his lab might have grown the first immortal human cells.

To which they replied, Can I have some? And George said yes.




Leave a Comment

  1. Some things.

    1. The medical ethics discussion going on here is good. Thank human rights. Stuff went on in the 40s and 50s that will keep you awake for weeks if we actually talk about the details on a blog thread.

    2. You made me want to read this book.

    3. I am doing more of these.

    That is all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The stuff in that book will keep you awake. There are some very clear messages about medicine, ethics, and institutionalized racism. You should read the book so we can talk about it in more detail.

      And I’m glad you’re in for more of these. They’re quickly becoming a favorite feature for me.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by!

      I think the book does a good job of representing the ethical problems with what was done, but it also has a balance of information about why procedures were done the way they were.


    1. Hey! Sorry your comment sat for so long. I am minding this blog (it belongs to my sister and she is doing Mardi Gras). I don’t mind it often but when I do, I try and mind it well.

      I will tell you that this is the first week I did the Friday 56 at my own personal blog, which is different from the one that you will find if you click my name on the comment, because that is a pop culture blog with a lot of contributors which I am the front man for and and work wordpress on behalfof.

      I am very happy that people not only visited me, but commented. So happy, in fact, that some people have some visits a’ comin’ just as soon as I finish this comment.

      And would you please educate me about book beginnings? We believe in some social blogging around this place, and I have been seeing it all day. I am interested.

      Also, I really must read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The comments on this thread have convinced me this is so.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is my first week doing Book Beginnings. The basic idea is that you share the first few sentences of a book you want to highlight. A lot of people pair it with the Friday 56 and use the same book for both. It’s a great way to build community. Good luck growing your blog through this!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I loved this book…even though I haven’t actually read it myself yet, lol. Hubby got it for Christmas and we discussed everything that came up as he was reading. My background is in cell bio, so I answered any questions he had. We also had some good debates going for a while. Clearly, medical ethics are not black and white and there needs to be some wiggle room for research to progress, but I can’t believe some of the things that were allowed “in the name of medicine” not so long ago.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your last sentence is what strikes me so much about this book. It hasn’t been that long since things were very different. I was horrified—absolutely horrified—-at some of the things that were allowed, some of the things that were even expected to happen.


      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know!! I was flabbergasted to find out the Declaration of Helsinki which governs research on human subjects was only started in 1964. Then, it was only 11 paragraphs. It wasn’t even taken seriously until 1975. No wonder doctors have that God-complex if they had free reign up until about 40 years ago. Knowing the HeLa story now, I don’t even want to think about what could have been happening to other people.

        Liked by 2 people

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