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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Quotes

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a non-fiction book that was written in 2010 by Rebecca Skloot and was filmed and had premiere in 2017, starring Oprah Winfrey as Henrietta Lacks. The story is about Henrietta Lacks cervical cancer, and how the understanding of her cells came to change the entire research on and understanding of cancer!

It is also a story about ethics, medicine as well as racism in the 1950s medical system

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Quotes

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Quotes is a compilation of the best quotes from the film as well as from the book.

  • “Deborah and Zakariyya stared at the screen like they’d gone into a trance, mouths open, cheeks sagging. It was the closest they’d come to see their mother alive since they were babies. [Deborah] raised the vial and touched it to her lips. “You’re famous,” she whispered, “Just nobody knows it.”
  • “Deborah imagined her mother eternally suffering the symptoms of each disease. “
    – Rebecca Skloot


  • “Each day, Henrietta’s doctors increased her dose of radiation, hoping it would shrink the tumors and ease the pain until her death. Each day the skin on her abdomen burned blacker and blacker, and the pain grew worse.”

  • “Everything about Henrietta dead except them cells. “
    – Cootie

  • “God, I never thought I’d see my mother under a microscope—I never dreamed this day would ever come.”
    – Deborah Lacks

More Quotes from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Here you have som mere great ethical quotes, that will make you think. These are some of the most important aspects we should remember when we read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Quotes.

  • “Heaven looks just like Clover, Virginia. My mother and I always loved it down there more than anywhere else in the world.”
  • “HeLa was a workhorse: it was hardy, it was inexpensive, and it was everywhere. “
    – Rebecca Skloot
  • “At that moment…I understood completely how some of the Lackses could believe, without doubt, that Henrietta had been chosen by the Lord to become an immortal being. If you believe the Bible is the literal truth, the immortality of Henrietta’s cells makes perfect sense. Of course they were growing and surviving decades after death, of course, they floated through the air, and of course, they’d led to cures for diseases and been launched into space. Angels are like that. The Bible tells us so.”

  • “It sounds strange…but her cells done lived longer than her memory.”


  • “John Hopkin didn’t give us no information about anything. That was the bad part. Not the sad part, but the bad part, cause I don’t know if they didn’t give us information because they were making money out of it or if they was just wanting to keep us in the dark about it. I think they made money out of it, cause they were selling her cells all over the world and shipping them for dollars.”

  • “LORD, I KNOW you sent Miss Rebecca to help LIFT THE BURDEN of them CELLS…GIVE THEM TO HER!… LET HER CARRY THEM.”

  • “Lord, it just feels like that blackness is spreading all inside me.” -Henrietta Lacks

  • “No one told Sonny, Deborah, or Joe what had happened to their mother, and they were afraid to ask…As far as the children knew, their mother was there one day, gone the next.”

  • “Now I don’t know for sure if a spirit got Henrietta or if a doctor did it…but I do know that her cancer wasn’t no regular cancer, cause regular cancer don’t keep on growing after a person dies.”

  • “Only people that can get any good from my mother cells are the people that got money, and whoever sells them cells—they get rich off our mother and we got nothing…All those damn people didn’t deserve her help as far as I’m concerned.”

More Quotes after the official trailer

Here you can see the official The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks below. It had premiered on HBO in 2017.

10 of the best of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacs quotes

  • “She didn’t donate nothing. They took them and didn’t ask.”
    – Bobbette Lacks

  • “She told him she was glad her pain would come to some good for someone. “
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “She, like most black patients, only went to Hopkins when she thought she had no choice.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Take one of me and my sister by her and my mother grave…It’ll be the only picture in the world with the three of us almost together.”

  • “TeLinde often used patients from the public wards for research, usually without their knowledge. “
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “The Lackses challenged everything I thought I knew about faith, science, journalism, and race. Ultimately, this book is the result. It’s not only the story of HeLa cells and Henrietta Lacks, but of Henrietta’s family—particularly Deborah—and their lifelong struggle to make peace with the existence of those cells, and the science that made them possible.”

  • “The white Lackses know their kin all buried in here with ours cause the family. They know it, but they’ll never admit it. They just say, “Them Black Lackses, they ain’t kin!”

  • “There’s a photo on my wall of a woman I’ve never met, its left corner torn and patched together with tape. She looks straight into the camera and smiles, hands-on-hips, dress suit neatly pressed, lips painted deep red. It’s the late 1940s and she hasn’t yet reached the age of thirty. Her light brown skin is smooth, her eyes still young and playful, oblivious to the tumor growing inside her—a tumor that would leave her five children motherless and change the future of medicine. Beneath the photo, a caption says her name is “Henrietta Lacks, Helen Lane or Helen Larson.”


  • “This child will someday know that her great-grandmother Henrietta helped the world!…So will that child…and that child…and that child. This is their story now. They need to take hold of it and let it teach them they can change the world too.”


  • “Truth be told, I can’t get mad at science, because it helps people live, and I’d be a mess without it. I’m a walking drugstore! I can’t say nothing bad about science, but I won’t lie, I would like some health insurance so I don’t got to pay all that money every month for drugs my mother cells probably helped make.”

Huge list of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Quotes

  • “Well, so let my old lady cells talk to you and leave me alone. “
    – David “Day” Lacks

  • “You know, we never thought at that time they did not understand.”
    – Susan Hsu

  • “1953 and moved into a house of his own—he had no idea what”


  • “A few minutes later, seemingly out of nowhere, he pointed to the dirt and said, “You know, white folks and black folks all buried over top of each other in here. I guess old white granddaddy and his brothers were buried in here too. Really no tellin who in this ground now.” The only thing he knew for sure, he said, was that there was something beautiful about the idea of slave-owning white Lackses being buried under their black kin. “They spending eternity in the same place,” he told me, laughing. “They must’ve worked out their problems by now!”


  • “After years of disbelief and argument from other scientists, Hayflick’s paper on cell limits became one of the most widely cited in his field. It was an epiphany: scientists had been trying for decades to grow immortal cell lines using normal cells instead of malignant ones, but it had never worked. They thought their technique was the problem, when in fact it was simply that the lifespan of normal cells was preprogrammed. Only cells that had been transformed by a virus or a genetic mutation had the potential to become immortal. Scientists”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “And he petitioned the city of Atlanta to name October 11, the date of the conference, Henrietta Lacks Day. The city agreed and gave him an official proclamation from the mayor’s office.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “And in the late nineties, two women sued Hopkins, claiming that its researchers had knowingly exposed their children to lead, and hadn’t promptly informed them when blood tests revealed that their children had elevated lead levels—even when one developed lead poisoning. The research was part of a study examining lead abatement methods, and all families involved were black. The researchers had treated several homes to varying degrees, then encouraged landlords to rent those homes to families with children so they could then monitor the children’s lead levels.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “And when the Lord chooses an angel to do his work, you never know what they going to come back looking like.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “As a result of its investigation, the NIH said that to qualify for funding, all proposals for research on human subjects had to be approved by review boards—independent bodies made up of professionals and laypeople of diverse races, classes, and backgrounds—to ensure that they met the NIH’s ethics requirements, including detailed informed consent. Scientists said medical research was doomed. In a letter to the editor of Science, one of them warned, “When we are prevented from attempting seemingly innocuous studies of cancer behavior in humans … we may mark 1966 as the year in which all medical progress ceased.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “As one of Henrietta’s relatives said to me, “If you pretty up how people spoke and change the things they said, that’s dishonest. It’s taking away their lives, their experiences, and their selves.” In”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Because of patent licensing fees, it costs $25,000 for an academic institution to license the gene for researching a common blood disorder, hereditary hemochromatosis, and up to $250,000 to license the same gene for commercial testing. At that rate, it would cost anywhere from $46.4 million (for academic institutions) to $464 million (for commercial labs) to test one person for all known genetic diseases.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Because of this history, black residents near Hopkins have long believed the hospital was built in a poor black neighborhood for the benefit of scientists—to give them easy access to potential research subjects. In fact, it was built for the benefit of Baltimore’s poor.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Black scientists and technicians, many of them women, used cells from a black woman to help save the lives of millions of Americans, most of them white. And they did so on the same campus—and at the very same time—that state officials were conducting the infamous Tuskegee syphilis studies.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “But I always have thought it was strange, if our mother cells did so much for medicine, how come her family can’t afford to see no doctors? Don’t make no sense. People got rich off my mother without us even knowing about them taking her cells, now we don’t get a dime.”
    ― Rebecca Skloot

  • “But I tell you one thing, I don’t want to be immortal if it means living forever, cause then everybody else just dies and gets old in front of you while you stay the same, and that’s just sad.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “But more than anything, they worried that since everyone was using different media ingredients, recipes, cells, and techniques, and few knew their peers’ methods, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to replicate one another’s experiments. And replication is an essential part of science: a discovery isn’t considered valid if others can’t repeat the work and get the same result.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “But today when people talk about the history of Hopkins’s relationship with the black community, the story many of them hold up as the worst offense is that of Henrietta Lacks—a black woman whose body, they say, was exploited by white scientists.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Can you tell me what my mama’s cells really did?” he whispered. “I know they did something important, but nobody tells us nothing.”
    – Lawrence Lacks


  • “Day wouldn’t have understood the concept of immortal cells or HLA markers coming from anyone, accent or not—he’d only gone to school for four years of his life, and he’d never studied science. The only kind of cell he’d heard of was the kind Zakariyya was living in out at Hagerstown. So he did what he’d always done when he didn’t understand something a doctor said: he nodded and said yes.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Everyone in the audience knew what that meant. On top of saying they’d possibly wasted more than a decade and millions of research dollars, Gartler was also suggesting that spontaneous transformation—one of the most celebrated prospects for finding a cure for cancer—might not exist. Normal cells didn’t spontaneously become cancerous, he said; they were simply taken over by HeLa.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “For Deborah and her family—and surely many others in the world—that answer was so much more concrete than the explanation offered by science: that the immortality of Henrietta’s cells had something to do with her telomeres and how HPV interacted with her DNA. The idea that God chose Henrietta as an angel who would be reborn as immortal cells made a lot more sense to them than the explanation”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “For me, it’s writing a book and telling people about this story.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Genetically speaking, humans are terrible research subjects. We’re genetically promiscuous–we mate with anyone we choose–and we don’t take kindly to scientists telling us who we should reproduce with. Plus, unlike plans and mice, it takes decades to produce enough offspring to give scientists much meaningful data.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “HELA CELLS ARE GROWN Black scientists and technicians, many of them women, used cells from a black woman to help save the lives of millions of Americans, most of them white. And they did so on the same campus—and at the very same time—that state officials were conducting the infamous Tuskegee syphilis studies.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “HeLa cells were one of the most important things that happened to medicine in the last hundred years,” Defler said. Then, matter-of-factly, almost as an afterthought, he said, “She was a black woman.” He erased her name in one fast swipe and blew the chalk from his hands. Class was over.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Henrietta died in 1951 from a vicious case of cervical cancer, he told us. But before she died, a surgeon took samples of her tumor and put them in a petri dish. Scientists had been trying to keep human cells alive in culture for decades, but they all eventually died. Henrietta’s were different: they reproduced an entire generation every twenty-four hours, and they never stopped. They became the first immortal human cells ever grown in a laboratory.”
    – Rebecca Skloot


  • “Henrietta’s cells have now been living outside her body far longer than they ever lived inside it”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Henrietta’s were different: they reproduced an entire generation every twenty-four hours, and they never stopped. They became the first immortal human cells ever grown in a laboratory.”
    – Rebecca Skloot


  • “Hopkins says they gave them cells away,” Lawrence yelled, “but they made millions! It’s not fair! She’s the most important person in the world and her family living in poverty. If our mother was so important to science, why can’t we get health insurance?”

  • “I keep with me all I know about you deep in my soul, because I am part of you, and you are me.”

  • “There is no evidence that the scientists who did research on patients at Crownsville got consent from either the patients of their parents. Based on the number of patients listed in the pneumoencephalography study and the years it was conducted, Lurz told me later, it most likely involved every epileptic child in the hospital including Elsie. The same is likely true of at least one other study called “The Use of Deep Temporal Leads in the Study of Psychomotor Epilepsy,” which involved inserting metal probes into patients’ brains.”

  • “I later learned that while Elsie was at Crownsville, scientists often conducted research on patients there without consent, including one study titled “Pneumoencephalographic and skull X-ray studies in 100 epileptics.” Pneumoencephalography was a technique developed in 1919 for taking images of the brain, which floats in a sea of fluid. That fluid protects the brain from damage but makes it very difficult to X-ray since images taken through a fluid are cloudy. Pneumoencephalography involved drilling holes into the skulls of research subjects, draining the fluid surrounding their brains, and pumping air or helium into the skull in place of the fluid to allow crisp X-rays of the brain through the skull. The side effects—crippling headaches, dizziness, seizures, vomiting—lasted until the body naturally refilled the skull with spinal fluid, which usually took two to three months. Because pneumoencephalography could cause permanent brain damage and paralysis, it was abandoned in the 1970s.”
    – Rebecca Skloot
  • “I’ll never forget it,” Aurelian said. “George told me he leaned over Henrietta’s bed and said, ‘Your cells will make you immortal.’ He told Henrietta her cells would help save the lives of countless people, and she smiled. She told him she was glad her pain would come to some good for someone.”

  • “I’ve tried to imagine how she’d feel knowing that her cells went up in the first space missions to see what would happen to human cells in zero gravity, or that they helped with some of the most important advances in medicine: the polio vaccine, chemotherapy, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization. I’m pretty sure that she—like most of us—would be shocked to hear that there are trillions more of her cells growing in laboratories now than there ever were in her body.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “If our mother cells did so much for medicine, how come her family can’t afford to see no doctors?”


  • “If our mother so important to science, why can’t we get health insurance?”


  • “In 1999 the RAND Corporation published a report (the first and, so far, last of its kind) with a “conservative estimate” that more than 307 million tissue samples from more than 178 million people were stored in the United States alone. This number, the report said, was increasing by more than 20 million samples each year. The samples come from routine medical procedures, tests, operations, clinical trials, and research donations. They sit in lab freezers, on shelves, or in industrial vats of liquid nitrogen. They’re stored at military facilities, the FBI, and the National Institutes of Health.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “In immortality for the masses. He was a eugenicist: organ transplantation and life extension were ways to preserve what he saw as the superior white race, which he believed was being polluted by less intelligent and inferior stock, namely the poor, uneducated, and nonwhite. He dreamed of never-ending life for those he deemed worthy, and death or forced sterilization for everyone else. He’d later praise Hitler for the “energetic measures” he took in that direction.”

  • “In recent years, using tissue samples from themselves, their families, and their patients, scientists had grown cells of all kinds—prostate cancer, appendix, foreskin, even bits of human cornea—often with surprising ease. Researchers were using that growing library of cells to make historic discoveries: that cigarettes caused lung cancer; how X-rays and certain chemicals”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Like I’m always telling my brothers, if you gonna go into history, you can’t do it with a hate attitude. You got to remember, times were different.”

  • “Like many doctors of his era, TeLinde often used patients from the public wards for research, usually without their knowledge.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Like the Bible said,’ Gary whispered, ‘man brought nothing into this world and he’ll carry nothing out. Sometimes we care about stuff too much. We worry when there’s nothing to worry about.”

  • “Lillian converted to Puerto Rican,” Gladys said, holding the letter to her chest. I looked at Gary, who sat beside her. “Lillian’s skin was real light, even lighter than mom’s,” Gary explained. “She married a Puerto Rican somewhere in New York. Since she could pass, she disowned her blackness—converted to Puerto Rican because she didn’t want to be black no more.”

  • “Man brought nothing into this world and he’ll carry nothing out. Sometimes we care about stuff too much. We worry when there’s nothing to worry about.”

  • “Many doctors tested drugs on slaves and operated on them to develop new surgical techniques, often without using anesthesia. ”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Many scientists believed that since patients were treated for free in the public wards, it was fair to use them as research subjects as a form of payment. And as Howard Jones once wrote, “Hopkins, with its large indigent black population, had no dearth of clinical material.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Mary stood beside Wilbur, waiting as he sewed Henrietta’s abdomen closed. She wanted to run out of the morgue and back to the lab, but instead, she stared at Henrietta’s arms and legs—anything to avoid looking into her lifeless eyes. Then Mary’s gaze fell on Henrietta’s feet, and she gasped: Henrietta’s toenails were covered in chipped bright red polish. “When I saw those toenails,” Mary told me years later, “I nearly fainted. I thought, Oh jeez, she’s a real person. I started imagining her sitting in her bathroom painting those toenails, and it hit me for the first time that those cells we’d been working with all this time and sending all over the world, they came from a live woman. I’d never thought of it that way.””

  • “Myriad Genetics, which holds the patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes responsible for most cases of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, charges $3,000 to test for the genes. Myriad has been accused of creating a monopoly, since no one else can offer the test, and researchers can’t develop cheaper tests or new therapies without getting permission from Myriad and paying steep licensing fees. Scientists who’ve gone ahead with research involving the breast-cancer genes without Myriad’s permission have found themselves on the receiving end of cease-and-desist letters and threats of litigation. In May 2009 the American Civil Liberties Union, several breast-cancer survivors, and professional groups representing more than 150,000 scientists sued Myriad Genetics over its breast-cancer gene patents. Among other things, scientists involved in the case claim that the practice of gene patenting has inhibited their research, and they aim to stop it. The presence of so many scientists in the suit, many of them from top institutions, challenges the standard argument that ruling against biological patents would interfere with scientific progress”

  • “Nearly seven years after Moore originally filed suit, the Supreme Court of California ruled against him in what became the definitive statement on this issue: When tissues are removed from your body, with or without your consent, any claim you might have had to owning them vanishes. When you leave tissues in a doctor’s office or a lab, you abandon them as waste, and anyone can take your garbage and sell it. Since Moore had abandoned his cells, they were no longer a product of his body, the ruling said. They had been “transformed” into an invention and were now the product of Golde’s “human ingenuity” and “inventive effort.”

  • “Nelson-Rees had since been hired by the National Cancer Institute to help stop the contamination problem. He would become known as a vigilante who published “HeLa Hit Lists” in Science, listing any contaminated lines he found, along with the names of researchers who’d given him the cells. He didn’t warn researchers when he found that their cells had been contaminated with HeLa; he just published their names, the equivalent of having a scarlet H pasted on your lab door.”

  • “Only cells that had been transformed by a virus or a genetic mutation had the potential to become immortal.”

  • “Scientists had been trying to keep human cells alive in culture for decades, but they all eventually died. Henrietta’s were different: they reproduced an entire generation every twenty-four hours, and they never stopped. They became the first immortal human cells ever grown in a laboratory.”


  • “She demanded to know if anyone ever tried to teach her sister sign language. No one had.”

  • “She’s the most important person in the world and her family living in poverty. If our mother is so important to science, why can’t we get health insurance?”

  • “She’s simply called HeLa, the code name given to the world’s first immortal human cells—her cells, cut from her cervix just months before she died.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Since the Common Rule says that research subjects must be allowed to withdraw from the research at any time, these experts have told me that, in theory, the Lacks family might be able to withdraw HeLa cells from all research worldwide. And in fact, there are precedents for such a case, including one in which a woman successfully had her father’s DNA removed from a database in Iceland. Every researcher I’ve mentioned that idea to shudders at the thought of it.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Some of the stories were conjured by white plantation owners taking advantage of the long-held African belief that ghosts caused disease and death. To discourage slaves from meeting or escaping, slave owners told tales of gruesome research done on black bodies, then covered themselves in white sheets and crept around at night, posing as spirits coming to infect black people with disease or steal them for research. Those sheets eventually gave rise to the white hooded cloaks of the Ku Klux Klan.”

  • “Some things you got to release. Gary said. The more you hold them in, the worse you get. When you release them, they got to go somewhere else. The Bible says He can carry all that burden.”

  • “Sometimes I wonder, if somebody taught her sign language, maybe she’d still be alive.”

  • “Sonny had a quintuple bypass in 2003 when he was fifty-six years old—the last thing he remembered before falling unconscious under the anesthesia was a doctor standing over him saying his mother’s cells were one of the most important things that had ever happened to medicine. Sonny woke up more than $125,000 in debt because he didn’t have health insurance to cover the surgery.”
    – Rebecca Skloot

  • “Soon after Harris’s HeLa-chicken study, a pair of researchers at New York University discovered that human-mouse hybrids lost their human chromosomes over time, leaving only the mouse chromosomes. This allowed scientists to begin mapping human genes to specific chromosomes by tracking the order in which genetic traits vanished. If a chromosome disappeared and the production of a certain enzyme stopped, researchers knew the gene for that enzyme must be on the most recently vanished chromosome. Scientists in laboratories throughout North America and Europe began fusing cells and using them to map genetic traits to specific chromosomes, creating a precursor to the human genome map we have today.”


  • “Southam’s research was only one of the hundreds of similarly unethical studies. Beecher published a detailed list of the twenty-two worst offenders, including researchers who’d injected children with hepatitis and others who’d poisoned patients under anesthesia using carbon dioxide. Southam’s study was included as example number 17. Despite scientists’ fears, the ethical crackdown didn’t slow scientific progress. In fact, research flourished. And much of it involved HeLa.”


  • “The American Type Culture Collection—a nonprofit whose funds go mainly toward maintaining and providing pure cultures for science—has been selling HeLa since the sixties. When this book went to press, their price per vial was $256. The ATCC won’t reveal how much money it brings in from HeLa sales each year, but since HeLa is one of the most popular cell lines in the world, that number is surely significant.”


  • “The fundamental problem here isn’t the money; it’s the notion that the people these tissues come from don’t matter.”

  • “The Geys were determined to grow the first immortal human cells: a continuously dividing line of cells all descended from one original sample, cells that would constantly replenish themselves and never die.”

  • “The term informed consent first appeared in court documents in 1957, in a civil court ruling on the case of a patient named Martin Salgo. He went under anesthesia for what he thought was a routine procedure and woke up permanently paralyzed from the waist down. The doctor hadn’t told him the procedure carried any risks at all.”

10 last The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Quotes

  • “There are more than one hundred strains of HPV in existence, thirteen of which cause cervical, anal, oral, and penile cancer—today, around 90 percent of all sexually active adults become infected with at least one strain during their lifetimes.”

  • “These cells have transformed modern medicine. … They shaped the policies of countries and of presidents. They even became involved in the Cold War. Because scientists were convinced that in her cells lay the secret of how to conquer death”

  • “They also knew that there was a string of DNA at the end of each chromosome called a telomere, which shortened a tiny bit each time a cell divided, like time ticking off a clock. As normal cells go through life, their telomeres shorten with each division until they’re almost gone. Then they stop dividing and begin to die. This process correlates with the age of a person: the older we are, the shorter our telomeres, and the fewer times our cells have left to divide before they die. By the early nineties, a scientist at Yale had used HeLa to discover that human cancer cells contain an enzyme called telomerase that rebuilds their telomeres. The presence of telomerase meant cells could keep regenerating their telomeres indefinitely. This explained the mechanics of HeLa’s immortality: telomerase constantly rewound the ticking clock at the end of Henrietta’s chromosomes so they never grew old and never died.”

  • “Though no law or code of ethics required doctors to ask permission before taking tissue from a living patient, the law made it very clear that performing an autopsy or removing tissue from the dead without permission was illegal.”

  • “To discourage slaves from meeting or escaping, slave owners told tales of gruesome research done on black bodies, then covered themselves in white sheets and crept around at night, posing as spirits coming to infect black people with disease or steal them for research. Those sheets eventually gave rise to the white hooded cloaks of the Ku Klux Klan.”

  • “We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph. —ELIE WIESEL from The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code”

  • “When he asked if she was okay, her eyes welled with tears and she said, “Like I’m always telling my brothers, if you gonna go into history, you can’t do it with a hate attitude. You got to remember, times were different.”

  • “When I tell people the story of Henrietta Lacks and her cells, their first question is usually Wasn’t it illegal for doctors to take Henrietta’s cells without her knowledge? Don’t doctors have to tell you when they use your cells in research? The answer is no—not in 1951, and not in 2009 when this book went to press.”

  • “When we are prevented from attempting seemingly innocuous studies of cancer behavior in humans … we may mark 1966 as the year in which all medical progress ceased.”

  • “Whether you think the commercialization of medical research is good or bad depends on how into capitalism you are.”

  • “You know, they said if we could get all the pieces of her together, she’d weigh over eight hundred pounds now,” he told me. “And Henrietta never was a big girl.” – Cootie

Interview with Rebecca Skloot about Henrietta Lacks

Below is an amazing interview the author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” Rebecca Skloot.

Here on The Quotes, we are specialized in quotes and we have more quotes than you can find in this article on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks quotes. We have articles filled with quotes from authors, such as Clarice Lispector quotes – the Brazillian and Ukrainian Jewish famous author from the ’60s and ’70s or the Argentinian novelist Julio Cortazar, where we have collected some of the best Julio Cortazar quotes.

More Sources on Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks Wikipedia Article

The Legacy of Henrietta Lacks from Johns Hopkins Medicine

Rebecca Skloots author website

The Henrietta Lacks Foundation

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