“They later discovered that the cells could thrive in a lab, a feat no human cells had achieved before.
"Soon the cells — nicknamed HeLa cells — were being shipped from Baltimore around the world. In the 62 years since — twice as long as Ms. Lacks’s own brief life — her cells have been the subject of more than 74,000 studies, many of which have yielded profound insights into cell biology, vaccines, in vitro fertilization and cancer.”
“For 62 years, (Lacks') family has been left out of the decision-making about that research. Now, over the past four months, the National Institutes of Health has come to an agreement with the Lacks family to grant them control over how Henrietta Lacks’s genome is used.”
“(T)the Lacks family was robbed. Scores of companies profited to the tune of tens of millions of dollars from products they made derived from Henrietta Lacks' cancerous cells. Maybe this will provide some impetus to a wider consideration of the rights patients are entitled to when their tissues are cloned and disseminated to other researchers and ultimately put to use in profit-making ventures.”
“At the very least, this family needs to be financially compensated for the anguish of their discovery and for the time and energy they've put into pursuing their rights. In my opinion, they also deserve a portion of any commercial gain that's been made using the HeLa cells. It is only through having to give away money that the powerful learn manners.”
“It is absolutely true that scientists have had a blind spot when it came to the human element of the HeLa cells.”
“Allowing a market in eggs for research would reach beyond the current pool to target women who may be motivated by dire need. How many low-income women might consider selling their eggs, multiple times, to feed their children or pay the rent?”
“Prospective egg donors must assimilate a great deal of information in the informed consent process, yet it remains difficult to determine the extent of their actual understanding of egg donation and its potential risks.”