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The importance of patient consent

Discussion in 'Healthcare Reform Discussions' started by anonymous, May 6, 2019 at 2:22 AM.

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  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells taken without her knowledge in 1951 became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance (RebeccaSkloot,2010). I believe that the book (The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks) effectively illustrated the significance of Henrietta Lack’s life. Rebecca (the author) was able to provide factual evidence behind the true history of the HeLa cells. I commend her for also involving Henrietta’s children and allowing herself to be a bridge, which was able to connect the truth with science. In the book it states that Christoph the scientist from Hopkins, gave Deborah and Zakariyya (Henrietta’s children) his cell phone number and said they could call anytime time if they had any further questions about their mother’s cells. This was the first time Deborah was given any direct contact with an employee from the John Hopkins hospital who wanted to help and not exploit her family.
    Some problematic elements as to how the author Skloot portrayed the lacks family in my opinion include the extensive information based on Henrietta’s medical history. I believe that her contracting multiple STD’s from her husband could have been omitted. Her family was represented well in the book and I do not believe they were exploited in any way by the author Rebecca. The scientists Lengauer quotes in the book that it is important to learn about Henrietta Lacks. I agree with this statement 100%. In science books, she was previously referred to as the HeLa cells or Helen Lane. This information was not accurate, and I am glad that it was modified. “Scientist don’t like to think of HeLa cells as being little bits of Henrietta because it’s much easier to do science when you disassociate your materials from the people they come from” (Skloot, R 2011). Learning about the Henrietta Lacks story has helped me to become a more ethical leader regarding remembering that you must always have compassion for your patients. Many times, patients are over booked on physician’s schedules or not given the proper amount of time that the deserve with a physician. We live in a culture that always wants more and unfortunately corners are cut most times. Patients are treated as numbers and not as human beings, due to high volume scheduling for physicians to make the most money. This book has shown me how far we have come with both medical advances as well as patient rights.
    The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically (HIP, 2019). Medical professionals must now abide by the set of rules that include the HIPPA policy when handling a patient’s case. When Henrietta’s cells were stolen from Johns Hopkins, there were not many laws put in place to specifically help African American patients. Laws were not truly enforced for the wrong doings on African American patients during that time. To prevent another case like Henrietta’s, medical professionals can do several things to prevent unethical practices. Some practices physicians can incorporate include staying abreast on current policies. Things change daily and to avoid lawsuits and impairment to a patient, a medical professional must make sure they are abreast on all current policies. Another way to prevent unethical practices include not committing malpractice. Medical professionals need to live by the Hippocratic oath of not doing any harm to a patient. Once patients are treated valuable and compassion is given, we can eliminate the situations where being evil is the narrative.

    References:

    Health information privacy(2019). Retrieved from Privacy

    RebeccaSkloot(2010). Retrieved from The Immortal Life « Rebecca Skloot

    Skloot, R. (2011). The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. New York, NY: Broadway Books