"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" film screening and talk-back with professors
- 10:00 PM
Tuesday Feb 27, 2018
JBD, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center
Join us for a film screening of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, followed by a talk-back panel with professors from the philosophy, biology, and American studies departments here at Mac. Light snacks will be provided.
In 1950, Henrietta Lacks, a young mother of five, entered the colored ward of the Johns Hopkins Hospital to begin treatment for an extremely aggressive strain of cervical cancer. As she lay on the operating table, a sample of her cancerous cervical tissue was taken without her knowledge or consent. Dr. George Gey, who had been conducting experiments to create a line of human cells that never died, finally succeeded when given this sample of Henrietta's cells. He hoped that these immprtal cells would be used for future medical research and eventually lead to a cure for cancer.
Less than a year after her diagnosis, Henrietta passed away at the age of 31. For two decades, her family had no idea that part of her was still alive, growing vigorously in laboratories--first at Johns Hopkins, and eventually all over the world. Nor were they aware--or beneficiaries--of the multimillion-dollar industry that developed around the production and use of HeLa cells.
Today, Henrietta's cells have led to not only scientific and medical breakthroughs, but also new and evolving policies concerning the rights of patients and research subjects.
The movie, adapted by Oprah, is based on Rebecca Skloot's book of the same title. Over the course of a decade, Skloot examined primary sources and held personal interviews to construct an insightful narrative account of Henrietta's childhood, young adulthood, diagnosis, illness, and tragic death. Skloot tenaciously worked to gain the trust of Henrietta's daughter, Deborah. The result of their relationship is an illuminating portrait of the enduring legacy of Henrietta's life, death, and immortality.
This event is for: Students and Faculty
Sponsored By: Women in Science and Math (WISM)
Categories: Front Page Events, Student Organization Events, Lectures and Speakers, Campus Events and Films and Videos