Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot looks into the life of Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose cancer cells were unknowingly used for research, effectively hiding her name from the public and directing money away from her family. This exposé novel adds an unheard voice to the debate on how much disclosure is required for a patient to give consent for cell usage, and suggests the potential role of racism in such injustices. Featuring a background not only of Henrietta’s visits to Johns Hopkins, but also to the town she grew up in and the way she was raised, this novel hits all of the bases and is a fresh take on the patient-consent controversy which is still fervent today.