Henrietta lacks the estate lawsuit company using her ‘stolen’ cells

College Park, Md. (AP) – Henrietta Lakes’ estate has sued a biotechnology company, against which doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital took part “racially” from a black woman in 1951 without her knowledge or consent. Unfair medical care. “

Tissue taken from a woman’s tumor became the first human cell to successfully clone before she died of uterine cancer. Since then, infinitely reproduced, hela cells have become the basis of modern medicine, enabling numerous scientific and medical innovations, including the development of the polio vaccine, genetic mapping, and even the Covid-1 vaccine.

Deficiency cells were cut and developed long before the advent of the consent method used in medicine and scientific research, but his family’s lawyers say Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. of Waltham, Massachusetts, continues to commercialize well after production. Hela cell line became well known.

“It is insulting that this organization would think that they have intellectual property rights in their grandmother’s cell. Why do they have an intellectual right to his cells and his family, his flesh and blood, his black children could benefit billions of dollars if nothing else? Ben Krump, a lawyer for the family, made the remarks at a news conference outside federal court in Baltimore on Monday.

Johns Hopkins said it never sold or made a profit from the sale line, but many companies have patented the way they are used. Kramp said the distributors made billions by “stealing” genetic material from Lex’s body.

Another family attorney, Christopher Cigar, hinted at related lawsuits against other companies.

Thermo Fisher Scientific “shouldn’t be considered too lonely because they’re going to have a lot of companies soon,” Cigar said.

The lawsuit asks the court to direct Thermo Fisher Scientific to “distort the entire amount of net profit earned through the commercialization of the Heller cell line into Henrietta Lakes’ estate.” It also wants Thermo Fisher Scientific to be permanently banned from using Hela cells without the permission of the estate.

On its website, the company says it earns about 35 35 billion annually. A company spokesman did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The unique properties of HeLa cells were discovered. Although most cell samples die after being removed from the body, its cells survive and thrive in the laboratory. This exceptional quality has made it possible to cultivate its cells indefinitely – they became known as the first immortal human cell line – making it possible for scientists to reproduce studies using identical cells anywhere.

Extraordinary science involving – and the impact of deprivation on families, some of whom were suffering from chronic illness without health insurance – was recorded in the best-selling book of 2010, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lakes”. Oprah Winfrey plays her daughter in an HBO movie. The lawsuit was filed on October 4, 1951, exactly 70 years after his death.

“The exploitation of Henrietta’s deprivation unfortunately represents the common struggle of black people throughout history,” the lawsuit says. “Indeed, black damage has simply increased countless medical advances and profits without compensation or recognition. Humanization of blacks has been stopped in various studies, both documented and unregistered. ”

Shobita Parthasarathy, a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan who has researched the intellectual property problem in biotechnology, said the lawsuit comes at a time when the Lax family is likely to have a sympathetic audience for their claims.

“We are in a moment, not just after the assassination of George Floyd, but also the epidemic, where we have seen structural racism in all sorts of places,” he said. “We keep talking about a racial account, and that racial accounting is also happening in science and medicine.”

Parthasarathy said the lawsuit also comes in the wake of revelations about how tech companies are making a profit from mining customer data.

“I think this raises the question for all of us as to whether our informed consent structure is sufficient to address the reality of how information is being taken from us and used to sell our goods or companies to make money.”

In the 15050s, a group of Johns Hopkins white doctors targeted black women with cervical cancer, cutting tissue samples from their patients’ cervix without their knowledge or consent.

Johns Hopkins Medicine says it reviewed its interactions with Lacs and her family more than 50 years after Rebecca Schult’s book was published in 2010. It states that it has “never sold or profited from the discovery or distribution of HeLa cells and does not own the rights to the HeLa cell line,” but acknowledges a moral obligation.

“At various times throughout that decade, we’ve seen that Johns Hopkins could do more for Henrietta Lax family members to express their respect, their privacy and their personal interests, and to work with them,” Johns Hopkins Medicine says on its website.

Representing the families of Kramp, Florida-based civil rights attorneys, Trivandrum Martin, Michael Brown, Brauna Taylor and George Floyd, he has gained national prominence পুলিশ black people at the hands of police and vigilantes whose deaths helped revive a national movement toward police reform and racial justice.

The New Jersey-based corporate lawsuit, Cigar, represented thousands of former NFL players in a class action settlement over the collision and was the main negotiator with Volkswagen’s ২১ 21 billion diesel emissions settlement.

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