Teaching My Students About Henrietta Lacks

Conversations on the intersection of race, medicine, and ethics are important for our students to have. As educators, we can help start them.


Thought provoking article. It is hard to correlate the culture of the times with the ethical judgements we make today in some of these situations. No doubt some of the things we thoughtlessly do will be considered unjust and unfair in the future, not to mention those things we do as a society that we know are unjust today.

Included in that are the underlying social and systemic problems that lead to the differences in disease rates between ethnic groups as mentioned in the article. We try to stay away from politics here, but of course the subject is inherently political.


Interesting article. Her legacy continues, yet she should have been asked.

Great travesties have been done to people who weren’t in the same tribe as those responsible.

Mrs. Lacks’ mistreatment pales in comparison to that of the Tuskegee syphilis study or the Japanese experiments on the Chinese or the Nazi treatment of the Jews, but all are bad.