Should You Own Your Own Cancer Cells?

The story began in January 1951, when Mrs. Lacks was found to have cervical cancer… Within months, her body was full of tumors, and she died in excruciating pain that October…

Neither Mrs. Lacks nor any of her relatives knew that doctors had given a sample of her tumor to Dr. George Gey, a Hopkins researcher who was trying to find cells that would live indefinitely in culture so researchers could experiment on them. Before she came along, his efforts had failed. Her cells changed everything: they multiplied like crazy and never died… Dr. Gey did not make money from the cells, but they were commercialized. Now they are bought and sold every day the world over, and they have generated millions in profits.

Full article on whether patients should have financial claim on tissue removed from their bodies.

Comments (4)

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  1. Tom H. says:

    The answer is obviously yes.

  2. Greg says:

    This is a scandalous story. Hard to belive it ever happened.

  3. Larry C. says:

    Agree. This story is outrageous.

  4. Neil H. says:

    A modern tragedy.