Identity Theft – DNA Style

Published on September 10th, 2013

by Kathleen M. Gallagher

Last month an historic agreement was reached between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the family of a woman named Henrietta Lacks. It didn’t get a lot of media attention, but it is critically important. If you’ve heard of Henrietta’s name, it’s likely because of the 2010 book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot, a non-fiction gem that stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. The book begins with this quote from Elie Wiesel from “The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code”henrietta lacks

“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.”

Read my column on the new NIH pact and why it’s important here, in the Tablet, the newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

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