FAMILY OF HENRIETTA LACKS, WHOSE CELLS HELPED ADVANCE MODERN MEDICINE, SETTLES LAWSUIT
Aug 01, 2023
By Bob Komsic
Descendants of Henrietta Lacks have reached a settlement with biotech company Thermo Fisher Scientific, 72-years after doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital removed cancerous cells without her consent.
The so-called HeLa cells (taken from the first two letters of her first and last names) taken from a tumour in 1951 before she died of cervical cancer became the first human cells to be successfully cloned and have been reproduced ever since.
They’ve enabled scientific and medical innovations including the development of the polio vaccine, genetic mapping and even COVID vaccines.
The Lacks family accuses Thermo Fisher Scientific of knowingly mass producing and selling the woman’s tissue that was removed by doctors at the hospital as part of ”a racially unjust medical system.”