October 21, 2021

Family of Henrietta Lacks Files Lawsuit Against Company That Used Her Cells Without Consent

The descendants of neighborhood chief Henrietta Lacks sued the pharmaceutical firm who used her most cancers cells with out her permission.

Civil rights legal professional Ben Crump introduced the case filed in Maryland in opposition to Thermo Fisher Scientific on the seventieth anniversary of Henrietta Lacks’ demise from cervical most cancers. The criticism states that the corporate purposely mass-produced the residing tissue of Henrietta Lacks that was faraway from her at Johns Hopkins Hospital, although she by no means gave her permission. 

Lacks handed away on October 4th, 1951, after spending virtually two months at Johns Hopkins. Whereas she was receiving most cancers remedies, docs extracted her cells from a biopsied tumor with out her consent. HeLa cells turned well-known because of this of the analysis. They have been divided and stayed viable in check tubes outdoors of her physique, permitting researchers to distribute the cell line and proceed testing. HeLa cells have since been utilized within the improvement of vaccinations, most cancers therapies, and AIDS research, amongst different medical breakthroughs. The Lacks household say they by no means obtained any compensation for the use of the lady’s cells.

Crump maintains that the lawsuit is supposed to carry Thermo Fisher accountable and reiterate that “Black people have the right to control their bodies.” 

The lawsuit factors out that within the Nineteen Fifties, white docs with Johns Hopkins continuously and unjustly experimented on Black girls with cervical most cancers and eliminated tissue samples with out their information.

The household is looking for unspecified damages.