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    Henrietta Lacks and Healthcare Leadership

    Henrietta Lacks and Health Care Leadership
    Risha Pierre
    MHA/508- Navigating the Regulatory Environment in Health Care
    January 27, 2020
    Professor Rick Nordahl



    Henrietta Lacks and Health Care Leadership
    In the 1950’s there was a family and women named Henrietta Lacks that was trying to get treated for her cervical tumor at the John Hopkins Clinic. During this time of the visit the Lacks family were unaware of the condition that Henrietta was in. In this article, I will discuss evaluating and determining problematic elements, agreeing or disagreeing with Lengauer’s quote, explaining how Henrietta’s case helped me become an ethical leader, and the medical professionals that will prevent unethical practices.
    Evaluating & Determining Any Possible Problematic Elements:
    In the book of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot, was telling the world about an untold story that happen with Henrietta Lacks and her family in the 1950s. Henrietta Lacks was a Southern African- American woman who had a cancerous cervical tumor that only became beneficial to researchers and scientists. During the time of the event, neither Henrietta or her family knew about her deadly condition nor was she receiving the proper treatment. Henrietta and her family did not get consent from the doctors for her immortal cells to become a medical research. Years later after Henrietta’s death, researchers discovered that her cells were still alive and possibly curable for viruses or diseases.
    Now that Skloot publishes her book in 2010, the Lacks family are now aware of the situation of their mother. There are no problematic elements here because of Rebecca, the Lacks family have questions and possible actions they want to take on their mother’s behalf. Rebecca was able to tell this untold story to the world, help the Lack’s Family, and informed the people about what happened to Henrietta Lacks.
    Agreeing or Disagreeing with Lengauer’s Quote about Henrietta Lacks:
    For Christoph Lengauer, he wanted to ensure that the community in general was aware of Henrietta Lack’s contribution to science. In his quote, he stated “Whenever we read books about science, it’s always HeLa this and HeLa that. Some people know those are the initials of a person, but they don’t know who that person is. That’s important history”. I do agree with Lengauer because if Henrietta’s story never came about people wouldn’t have ever known what happen to her and how they establish her cells. It’s also essential to learn how she was treated at the time due to her not being asked for consent, they didn’t treat her properly, and her cells became useful for curing viruses and diseases. This is not including the fact that her cells are now valuable and making profit that the Lack’s family have no access to the compensation.
    How Learning about Henrietta Lacks Helped Becoming an Ethical Leader:
    Given the opportunity to learn about Henrietta Lacks story was shocking, interesting, and created questions to why her story was never mentioned. It also became useful for myself to become an ethical leader by reviewing my values and beliefs. As a leader I want to be passionate, trustworthy, motivated, positive and communicator. This will create the opportunity for employees to communicate with me and searching for the right people that value the same beliefs.
    Medical Professionals That Can Prevent Unethical Practices:
    There are a couple ways that medical professionals can prevent unethical practices by establishing a code of coduct, and reinforcing consequences for unethical behavior. By creating a code of coduct provides expectations on behavior in the workplace environment and what happens when codes are violated. In the novel, Slishman stated “ Hospital patients may be at risk of harm if family members cannont get information about them” (Slishman 2015). This would be a code of conduct and violation for behavior in a workplace environment and not asking the family for consent of privacy information. In the novel, Beecher concetes “ Some patients died as a result of these studies” (Beecher 1966). This would apply to reinforcing consequences for unethical behavior which in this case would be termination. When there are policies and regualtions in place with compliance programs will allow audits and montioring to control the behavior of the company.
    References
    Kurtz, S. 2013. “Obama’s Secret Weapon: Henrietta Lacks.” National Rev, Aug. 19. http:// www.nationalreview.com/corner/356139/obamas-secret-weapon-henrietta-lacksstanley-kurtz.

    Skloot, R. 2015. “Your Cells. Their Research. Your Permission?” NY Times, Dec. 30. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/30/opinion/your-cells-their-research-your-permission.html?_r=0 .

    Slishman, S. 2015. “I Wish HIPAA Had Privacy Settings.” KevinMD.com, Sept. 11. http:// www.kevinmd.com/blog/2015/09/i-wish-hipaa-had-privacy-settings.html.

    Beecher, H. K. 1966. “Ethics and Clinical Research.” N Engl J Med 274: 1354–60.

    Brookins, M. (2019, February 1). Ways to Prevent Unethical Behavior in the Workplace. Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/ways-prevent-unethical-behavior-workplace-21344.html