The Importance of The Hippocratic Oath (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Book Review)


The Hippocratic Oath is of great importance to the medical field, and doctors take in this oath when they receive their qualifications to take on their service. In the case of Henrietta Lacks her family was greatly distraught because the image of the situation seems that the doctors were more concerned about using her ailment for their own good and knowledge rather than extensively treating Henrietta and keeping her information confidential. The doctors did not adhere to the Hippocratic oath because they did not follow the principles; to treat to the best of ability and to preserve privacy.

Bio-medical research is commonly used by doctors to unveil more treatments and solutions to problems in people's health. In the era in which Henrietta lived many healthcare professionals did not serve African Americans, but many who did also used them for research. This occurred in Henrietta Lacks, the violation of a Hippocratic rule; treating a patient with best ability. The doctors were more concerned about what they could discover than how they could help. This can be seen when the doctors treated Mrs. Lacks and did not inform her on the side effects of the treatments such as infertility. This is known as malpractice on the doctors end to the patient. As a doctor, to fully fulfill your roles of this Hippocratic law, you must be considerate of the full aspect of a patient. However, the doctors were willing to keep her cells for study for their medical discoveries. This further describes their insubordination to their duty with failure to treat the patient fully. The doctor's use of Henrietta's cells not only shows their lack of treatment, but also the lack of privacy and consent.

Henrietta was not consented or informed about her cells being taken. The cells were then sent to go through various tests and experiments. This is information about her body and she should have been given a description and option. The doctors are also not giving consideration for the privacy of the family that would eventually have to grieve, knowing that your family member was not treated right and was used unfairly is an arduous undertaking. Consequently, the family endured immense pain throughout this situation. As a result, many argue that anything is worth the innovation of science even if people may not agree. However, what good is science if we do not care for the well being of people of whom innovation is used for. Doctors are to be genuine and passionate in their work, this Hippocratic law is disgraceful to break and any doctor should be highly disappointed with themselves.

The Hippocratic Law is put in place for doctors for an ordained reason and it must be exhibited and must be taken heed to by medical professionals. The doctors did not take care and keep the privacy of Henrietta in its entirety; therefore, they did not fulfill their lawful responsibility.

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