"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies"

Music and literature and wildlife are my three passions. I write and I edit, since retiring from teaching 'cello in my working life. Love both. I revise his English editions for a Spanish author and he revises my writing. Mark and I have a smallholding in deepest Wales. I have two sons, two daughters in law, two granddaughters and one great grandson. You are only as old as you feel. Currently I am about five years old. There are never enough hours in the day.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot

Well written and researched this book addresses the issue of ownership of body parts that have been used for medical analysis or just taken as if that is the case, but kept and used profitably without the knowledge of the donor or the family of the donor.
I particularly found the end chapter about research and the issues it has raised interesting and well thought out. I got the book intending it for my daughter-in-law who is a scientific researcher, but ended up reading and recommending it for general consumption. It also made me glad to be in a country where medicine prescribed is free and treatment is available to all free at the point of use (paid for by contributions taken through taxation of those in work or on pensions over a minimum amount). We complain about the shortcomings of our system, but it is far more even-handed and available to the vulnerable and needy than that prevalent in the US. For that I am grateful. It made me wonder about the issue of agreement for use of cells etc. here, and that I am unsure about. Blood we give free and voluntarily, and spare parts too, both before and after death, but whether cells and samples taken during treatment could be sold as in the cases cited in this book, I do not know, but intend to find out. As with the daughter of HL who is the main focus of the interviews Skloot conducted, my main interest would be that permission should be given, and information given to donors, not that financial reward should be sought. But then in the UK we don't pay when treated (except for dentistry and opticians) so why should we be paid either?

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