I found this book a little dry and slow at the start but completely fascinating. The book tells the tale of a woman dying of cervical cancer which is traumatic enough for her family but their grief, frustration and anger is magnified intensly when they discover that medical professionals took cell samples from her. These cells are world renowned for their part in medical research, experimentation and were involved in finding a polio cure and much, much more... only the family never knew. The family of Henrietta Lacks were poor, African-American, endured considerable hardships and mad that they were continually kept in the dark about Henrietta's immense contribution to science and medicine. The fact that medical professionals took and continue to take for granted that whatever they want or need to do for the sake of research and experimentation is ok... the philosophy of the ends justifies the mean was an eye opener for me.
Acclaimed author Skloot brilliantly weaves together the story of Henrietta Lacks--a woman whose cells have been unwittingly used for scientific research since the 1950s--with the birth of bioethics, and the dark history of experimentation on African Americans.