Agreement Reached on HeLa Cells
More than 60 years after her death, the family of Heniretta Lacks and the National Institutes of Health have reached an agreement regarding access to her cells for research purposes.
In 1951 while being treated for cancer, Henrietta Lacks’ cells were extracted for research without her or her family’s knowledge or permission. The cells, known as HeLa cells, have contributed to some of the most important medical advances including development of modern vaccines, cancer treatments and in vitro fertilization techniques.
The book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, was NSU’s common reader for incoming students last academic year. David Lacks, Henrietta’s son, visited campus to discuss the book and the ethical issues surrounding her case.