Poverty as the Cause of Death of Henrietta Lacks

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Whether it was Clover or Turner station, Henrietta Lacks lived in poverty there are some who believe that poverty was the main cause for Henrietta’s death. Nein that Henrietta lacked in the areas of reading and writing, she was unable to protect herself from harmful and deadly diseases Henrietta’s inability to understand the medical world because of her economic status, plays a major role in her death. Not having the proper knowledge and background of her disease causes Henrietta to slowly waste away the many obstacles she is faced with is caused by her living in poverty.

Like most who suffer from poverty, Henrietta rarely kept up with routine medical visits, she would commonly hold off treatments because she knew very little of the medical world. In the text it reads that Henrietta only knew of two things, “’ harvesting tobacco and butchering a pig‘”, To Henrietta going to John Hopkins was like entering a foreign country where she didn‘t speak the language .

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Henrietta was not aware of how dangerous certain cancers could be or the horrible outcomes that come with them. Living in poverty enabled Henrietta to have the knowledge she needed to properly take care of her wellbeing. Like most other African Americans, such as Henrietta, she only went to John Hopkins when she felt it was the absolute last option Henrietta Lacks was ignorant to much of the things that took place around her because of poverty. Most people, who come from poverty, lack the knowledge to understand the full extent of certain situations and medical documents.

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Henrietta proves this when she so easily signed the John Hopkins operation permit. In the text it reads, “Henrietta printed her name in the blank Spacer A witness with illegible handwriting signed a line at the bottom of the form, and Henrietta signed another”, In doing this, Henrietta has basically signed her body over to John Hopkins for medical research and testing.

Within the permit, it states that the persons signing gives John Hopkins hospital permission to perform any operative procedures and under any anesthetic’” had Henrietta knew what exactly she was signing up for she might have taken more consideration. However, because she comes from a background of poverty, Henrietta was never taught to pay careful attention to things a person consents to. Henrietta was blind to the fact that she was endangering her health by allowing the hospital to do with her as they please, Poverty is a major reason Henrietta died, because it allowed for the doctor to take advantage of her, Doctor Grey and Dr. TeLinde, who specialized in looking for cures for certain cancers, were willing to use any woman who walked in to Hopkins as test subjects, Henrietta being one. Many of the treatments performed on Henrietta caused side effects that would take 5 a heavy toll on her. In the text it reads that Henrietta suffered from a burning sensation inside and pain when urinating; only after three weeks after starting X—ray therapy. Had Henrietta had a person who was looking out for her best interest, she would not have to experience such trauma.

The treatments that was being performed on Henrietta also caused her body to become distorted. The tissue from Henrietta’s breast to her pelvis begun to turn a charred black from radiation, the treatments, if anything, were causing Henrietta to become even sicker then before. Having little knowledge of the medical world, Henrietta was ignorant to much of what her body was dealing with Henrietta Lacks was an ordinary woman who was unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with cervical cancer. If Henrietta had the proper knowledge on her disease and its consequences she might have had a chance of survival. However, because she lived in poverty and didn’t have the means to keep up with her routine medical visits, Henrietta made herself much worse. Once her disease took its final toll Henrietta decided it was time to have herself checked out. The unconcerned doctors were more focused on their research then they were of Henrietta’s health. If Henrietta had Lhe proper knowledge and didn’t live in poverty, she would have been able to properly take care of herself and live a longer life.

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Poverty as the Cause of Death of Henrietta Lacks. (2023, Feb 21). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/poverty-as-the-cause-of-death-of-henrietta-lacks-essay

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