The book features Henrietta Lacks and HeLa. The latter is an immortal cell line that emerged from Lack’s cancer of the cervix in the year 1951. The book illustrates various scientific writings and progression that has occurred since the 1950s in the field of science. The beginning of the book offers basic cell information and how the author, Skloot, developed an interest in HeLa cells as well as the life of Lack, a black woman who died of cervical cancer. Through the history of Gey, the scientist, it emerges that legal issues regarding science have evolved since the 1950s. Upon her death, Lack’s cells are extracted and used for research without her permission. The research findings form a background upon which other successful research and treatments in science emerge. Nonetheless, the progression of science proceeds from a constraint space where Lack cannot form a strong case against the scientific body to a point where such medical procedures demand immediate legal action shows scientific development (Skloot 5). The author distinguishes between illegal and ethical standards among the researching bodies. Furthermore, Skloot highlights the extent to which science, as with other disciplines, was used to treat black people inhumanely (10). Essentially, in the 50s, culture, and tensions based on race prevented the scientific researchers from providing objective actions. In the 21st century, the use of human cells for modern research has changed. For example, presently, it requires consent from the donors and their closed relatives. Besides, no connection exists between race and other cultural nuances and the body of scientific research. Ultimately, culture, power, and political influence are among the list of major influences on scientific research. The confluence of business, humanity, and science emerges in the book using several factual and critical issues of philosophy. Additionally, the works of Lack present a new view that ensures that human cells have a way to stay younger and healthier (Skloot 128).
Usually, the sick have to pay for healthcare services. In some countries, the cost of treatment is quite high, especially for people who do not have medical covers. As a result, it is common for people to die of curable diseases. The medicinal practice should not be treated as a commercial venture but a basic service provider. Skloot insinuates that financial arrangement types that occur between a hospital, physician, and lay bodies ought to be vetted to measure up to ethical standards (138). Over that decade, the rise in healthcare for profit has created critical questions for those keen on providing healthcare ethically. The development of commercial units such as centers for dialysis, a profit-making chain of hospitals, as well as other healthcare service units poses sociological, administrative, legal, political, and administrative issues. This rise has also posed some of the core ethical values of the health and business communities.
Healthcare in the United States is quite expensive. Essentially, most Americans are only able to afford the mentioned service through government programs, employment services, or online marketplaces set up under the Patient Protection Act. The dismantlement plan by the Trump administration aims at enabling small business to have improved rates from insurance firms. The proposition has attracted opposition from the people who risk being out of cover when they need it the most. Indeed, the trump administration has provided leeway for the exit of the Affordable Care Act. Nevertheless, the older and Americans will be affected negatively by the plan. The solution that would have the best outcomes is to spread the healthcare costs among the healthy so that everyone can access health care when they ultimately need it. This means that everyone has a mandate to contribute to the health care plan, whether he or she is healthy or otherwise. When the costs are set within the premium pool, a sick can easily afford healthcare services.
Several organizations point to an ambivalent relationship that exists between healthcare and business professionals. In fact, America’s organized medicine has not raised concern about profit-making healthcare provision. One of the solutions to the mentioned issues is to offer auxiliary state departments that are solely in charge of healthcare provision and research (17). Such a policy would encourage public-private collaboration in offering healthcare. Furthermore, such an association would ensure that each party is periodically reviewed and the licenses of the non-compliant organizations are revoked. Nonetheless, despite such collaboration, ethics is quite personal and some people would still find ways to break and bend the rules to their favor even with regulations being in place. Breaking healthcare regulations would come easily due to the consistently growing need for healthcare services. If the demand for health care exceeds the supply, the healthcare organizations may be tempted to break the rules, and the public condones the mistakes. Despite policies to create state-private collaborations in healthcare provision being in instituted, regulatory measures should also form a part of the pact if the measures are to have any meaningful value in the value chain ecosystem.
Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. New York: Crown Publishers, 2010. Print.