The Glad Game > オーディオブック Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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オーディオブック Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

時間:12時間30分

発音:アメリカ英語

速度:145 /分(平均)

おススメ度:★★★★

細胞研究に最も広く用いられているHeLa細胞由来となった、Henrietta Lacksという女性のお話です。

1951年、子宮頸がんのため31歳で亡くなった黒人女性ヘンリエッタから採取された癌細胞は、ヒトで初めて継代培養に成功した細胞株となりました。彼女の姓名から2文字ずつとってHeLaと命名された細胞は、科学者たちの間でやりとりされ、世界中に広まっていきます。ポリオワクチンの開発、遺伝子マッピング、癌研究、ウイルス研究、不妊治療など様々な研究に使用され、医学の発展に貢献しました。

1970年代まで、ヘンリエッタの家族は彼女の細胞が生き続けているという事実さえ知りませんでした。何兆個ものHeLa細胞が売買され、それで巨万の富を得た科学者、会社がある一方で、ヘンリエッタの家族は健康保険の支払いさえままならず、HeLa細胞のおかげで飛躍的に発展した医学の恩恵すら受けることができないことに怒りを覚えます。また、ヘンリエッタの名前は長らくヘレン・レーンと誤って伝えられており、彼女が当然受けるべき賞賛も与えられませんでした。

この本では、ヘンリエッタの生涯、HeLa細胞培養に成功したGeyラボの当時の様子のほか、1950年代から70年代にかけて行われた人体実験の様子などが書かれています。今では信じられませんが、HeLa細胞を血液の癌にかかったお年寄り、囚人、子供に注射して反応をみたり、精神病院の患者に本人の許しを得ず苦痛を伴なう実験を行ったこともあったようです。また、タスキーギ梅毒事件では、黒人患者を対象に、治療法の分かっていた梅毒を治療せずにどうなるか観察した実験もありました。インフォームド・コンセントの概念などなかった時代です。”医学の発展のために”という大義名分のもとに、倫理が軽んじられる様は恐ろしいものがあります。

1950年代の黒人一家の生活ぶり、黒人差別、医学倫理など知ることができ、興味深い本でした。

Henrietta Lacks died of cervical cancer in 1951, but not her cells. Her cell, known as HeLa, is the first human immortal cell line. It helped many inventions in medicine, including developing the polio vaccine, research on cancers, viruses, cloning, fertilization, and gene mapping. Although HeLa was the most famous cell in the medical fields, Henrietta Lacks didn’t enjoy the fame and honor she deserved.

She was a poor African-American mother of 5 when she died at the age of 31. When she had unexpected bleeding, she went to Johns Hopkins hospital because it was the only major hospital which treated black people at the time. She was diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer and received radium treatment several times. During the procedure, doctors took her cervical tissue without her knowledge and sent it to a lab for research. There, scientists succeeded in growing her cells in a culture, and her cells acquired immortal life.

The scientist gave the cells to researchers all over the world who wanted to experiment on them. Trillions of her cells have been growing in labs since then and have been making profits by the billions. Her family didn’t know any of this until a scientist called her family after 25 years and told them part of her mother was alive, and he wanted to carry out experiments with her children’s blood samples for further research. The fact that part of their mother was alive was quite shocking to them. The family members were under-educated, and they didn’t know what a cell was. They learned that she wasn’t alive as a human, but the image of scientists experimenting on their mother tormented them. Her daughter wondered if part of her life was alive and was being used in experiments all around the world; her mother could not rest in peace. The scientists left the family worrying by not explaining it in detail. Her daughter worried sick if she had the same cancer cells that killed their mother.

The family did not receive any money, and it’s difficult to claim the dividend because it occurred in the 1950’s when the informed consent wasn’t widespread. Even now, claiming the property right seems unlikely once the tissue is separated from our body. They are angry at the doctors and scientists who received profits by using their mother’s cell while they are struggling to keep afloat. They can’t afford health insurance, and can’t receive the benefit their mother helped develop in the medical fields. It took 10 years for the author to write and publish this book. The family was suspicious of reporters and scientists who exploited them. Eventually, they were proud of their mother for what she had done after the author helped the family to unravel the mystery of their mother and HeLa.

I can’t thank enough Henrietta and her family, but at the same time, I felt so sorry for them. This book touched me by the unusual life of Henrietta and her family, and the importance of the ethics each of us should possess.

ヴァーチャル夏休みの課題のひとつ、オーディオブックを聞いて、英語で感想文を書く課題完了です!

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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オーディオブック Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - The Glad Game より
trackback - yukoxoxo2000 より 2010/08/15

ブログ更新。オーディオブック Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacksについて。英語で読書感想文の課題クリアです!
http://yukomillennium.com/?p=2226

pingback - The Glad Game > HeLa細胞と英検 より 2011/01/26

[…] 英検1級 ここ数日、”英検 1級 HeLa” というキーワードの組み合わせで当ブログに来られる方がちらほらいらっしゃったので私も検索してみたところ、先週の英検1級読解問題にHeLa細胞とその由来に関する話題が出たようですね。 ググると私が以前紹介したThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks の記事が出てきました。 […]

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