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WHO honors Henrietta Lacks as the family pursues justice




October 14, 2021-Henrietta Lacks, a black woman whose cells were notoriously harvested without knowledge of scientific research, is the World Heath Organization this week as her family continues to fight to protect her heritage. Was commended by.

Lux cells, commonly known as “HeLa,” are the only known human cells that are alive and well. Reproduce Outside humans body..The people die, Their cells usually die quickly. However, her cells have been used for decades for medical discoveries and life-saving treatments.

“In honoring Henrietta Lacks, WHO recognizes the importance of taking into account the science of the past. Injustice, And racial progress Equity WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreez said at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday. “It is also an opportunity to recognize women who have made incredible but often invisible contributions to medicine, especially those of color.”

Lawrence Lux, 87-year-old son of Henrietta Lacks, received the award on her behalf.

In search of justice

The ceremony took place over a week after the Henrietta Lacks family took action against the widespread (and unauthorized) commercial use of HeLa. cell, And seeking “ownership” of the cell.

October 4, the real estate of the Lux family Proceedings The company has generated nearly $ 35 in revenue from selling large quantities of HeLa cells to pharmaceutical company Thermo Fisher Scientific at a high price. a billion According to the proceedings, the Lux family has never made a financial profit, but they make a lot of money each year.

1951, that year doctor Tissue cut from Lux at Johns Hopkins Hospital neck While she is being treated for the neck cancer, The doctor did not have to ask for permission to take a sample.

However, the proceedings were filed by billion-dollar companies. origin Of HeLa cells.

NS suit We urge the court to order Thermo Fisher Scientific to “destroy all of the net profits earned by commercializing the HeLa cell line into Henrietta Lacks real estate.”

HeLa cells are valued everywhere between $ 400 and $ thousands per vial. The Wall Street Journal report..

HeLa cells allow scientists to perform endless tests and improve to understand The human body and what it can do, which made scientists understand its effects Polio To the body, it helped create Polio vaccination..

HeLa cells were also brought into space to understand the body’s response to zero. gravity..

Restoring Trust-Globally

For some, the victory of the Lux family in court is controversial page Controversial in American history.

“What was happening in the United States, given the situation when her cells were harvested 70 years ago?”Medicine The experiment was equivalent to medical racism, “said Ben Crump, a civil rights lawyer who is part of the Legal team on behalf of the Lux family, at a recent press conference.

One notable example Crump mentioned is Tuskegee. syphilis A survey conducted from 1932 to the mid-1970s.

With a black man syphilis They were told they were being treated when they were actually being studied to understand Disease aggression.After that penicillin Became standard process In the case of syphilis 1943, The experiment continues, and many As a result, he died.

The aftermath of betrayal can still be felt today COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection) Early vaccination efforts.Many blacks were very skeptical about getting COVID-19 vaccination, Medical distrust from past events play Main role, the study show.

“this [lawsuit] Not only because it benefits her family, but ultimately, America is historic because it can work on better and better things about health care. Racism“Crump said.

Other countries are working on racists Mail, Through the story of Lux.

In the UK, a life-sized bronze statue of Lux was unveiled at the University of Bristol on October 4th.

This is the first public sculpture of a black woman in Britain and was made by a black woman. BBC report..

“Her legacy as an African-American woman and in Bristol slave Trade, this is an important statement for Bristol. ” SculptureSaid at the unveiling ceremony.

From 1698 to 1807, more than 2,000 voyages from Africa to the Americas, carrying more than 500,000 slaves, were funded by Bristol merchants. According to Bristol’s free museum and historic house..

More than medicine

The victory of the Lux family in court is not just justice Health care Not only the system, but also blacks are considered equal player In society, Crump said.

“Often discussed in blacks communityWhy the Henry Ford family can define his heritage and benefit from his heritage, the Du Pont family can define his heritage heritage And benefit from his legacy, Rockefeller’s legacy, Kennedy’s legacy … “he said.

“But when it comes to blacks, will others come to define our heritage and will others benefit from our heritage?”

“We have her [Lacks’s] The family can benefit for her and for future generations Children And the kids still Foetation.. “





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