RebeccaSkloot, TheImmortalLife of Henrietta Lacks.NY: Crown Publishers,2010
Questionsfor SummerReading
General Questions:
...
Doctor-PatientRelationshipsand Biomedical Ethics:
How wasHenriettaLacks treatedbyherphysicians?
How have physicians’attitu...
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Summer Reading Questions - MCPHS

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Summer Reading Questions - MCPHS

  1. 1. RebeccaSkloot, TheImmortalLife of Henrietta Lacks.NY: Crown Publishers,2010 Questionsfor SummerReading General Questions: What didyou like (ornotlike) aboutthisbook? How wouldyoudescribe RebeccaSkloot’s writingstyle? What are the mostimportantconcernsor issueshighlightedbythe author? How wasthe bookorganized? Biologyand Science: What are HELA cells? Howdidtheycome intobeing? How have HELA cellscontributedtomedical researchandprogress? How are HELA cells distributedandwhoownsthem? What future developmentsinbiomedicinemayresultfromresearchinvolvingHELA cells? Basedon thishistory,howhasbiomedical science changedsince 1951? Considerthe roll (role) of individual scientistsinbiomedical research. How wouldyouassessthe respective effortsandcontributionsof George Guy,StanleyGartlerandDavidGolde? Societyand Culture: Who wasHenriettaLacks?What was herfamilyandsocial history? How wouldyoudescribe herlivingenvironmentsinCloverandTurnerStation? How wouldyoucharacterize her experienceswithJohnsHopkinsHospitalandAmericanmedicine? How didHenriettaLacks’familydiscoverherconnectiontoHELA cells? What standsout inSkloot’saccountof African-Americanexperienceswithandperceptionsof medical institutions? How dorace and class pertaintothe historyof JohnsHopkins,andmore generallytoAmericanmedical institutions? How doesthe authordescribe and negotiate cultural differencesbetweenherselfandthe Lacks family? Why doesSklootdevote somuchof the bookto the life of HenriettaLacks’descendants?
  2. 2. Doctor-PatientRelationshipsand Biomedical Ethics: How wasHenriettaLacks treatedbyherphysicians? How have physicians’attitudestowardpatientschangedfromthe 1950s to the present? What obligationsdophysiciansandresearchershave totheirpatientsorsubjects?Are theseobligations different? Didthe JohnsHopkinsdoctorsact unethicallyinacquiringorusingtissue samplestakenfromHenrietta Lacks? How couldyouargue forand againstthischarge? What was the Tuskegee syphilisexperiment?How doesthe historyof this transgressionrelate tothe HELA story? What isthe significanceof the NurembergTrialstomedical research? What isinformedconsent?What isan IRB? How do IRBs function? WhatisHIPAA? What specificproblemshave ariseninmedical ethicsbecauseof discoveriesingeneticsandotherfields involvingHeLaresearch?Howseriousare these issues? Narrative: What isSkloot’spurpose inwriting thisbook? How doesshe choose toorganize hermaterial? How doesshe manage narrative “voice”inthe book? How doesshe incorporate herself asa “character” inthisnarrative? How doesHenriettaLacks’daughterDeborahfigure intoSkloot’snarrative structure andstorytelling? What doesSklootmeanwhenshe writesaboutDeborah:“We’dformadeeppersonal bond,andslowly, withoutrealizingit,I’dbecome acharacter inher story,andshe in mine.”(7) What do youthinkSklootmeanswhenshe promisesDeborahthatshe will establishascholarshipfund for the descendantsof HenriettaLacks? How doyou understandSkloot’stitle:“The Immortal Life of HenriettaLacks”? Doesthisnon-fictionstoryresembleanovel orworkof fictioninanyway?

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