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The process of scientific inquiry in Henrietta Lacks’ story started off as an altruistic act by Dr. George Gey turned into a profit seeking business. It is controversial whether the research conducted using HeLa cells was for the greater good; expanded medical science to help save lives, or as a ploy to earn a profit. Skloot described the events as”illegal, immoral, and deplorable” (pg. 126). Altruism and profit influenced the research related to Henrietta’s cancerous cells. Profit contradicted altruistic research because of the tool needed in order to conduct research. Dr.Gey overlooked ethical borders when he took samples of Henrietta’s cells for his own research without Henrietta’s knowledge. This was only the start of the unethical use and distribution of Henrietta’s cancerous cells.After a few years of ignoring her pain, Henrietta went to see a doctor. She signed an operation consent form that said,  “I hereby give consent to the staff of The Johns Hopkins Hospital to perform any operative procedures and under any anesthetic either local or general that they may deem necessary in the proper surgical care and treatment” (Skloot, 2017, pg. 31). The consent form did not give Dr. Gey permission to take samples of her cells. After Dr. Gey grew more samples of HeLa cells, he sent them out to other researchers in hope to advance studies in cancer.Eventually, HeLa cells were continuing to grow worldwide. It is controversial whether the cell samples were used for the greater good of humanity or for personal gain. Dr. Southam’s use of the cancerous cells may not have been for profit but was just immoral. Dr. Southam put sample of HeLa cells into healthy patients without their knowledge for research. Although this occured before there was a clear understanding of cancer, this experiment was immoral and reprehensive.The Tuskegee Institute was the first factory that sold trillions of HeLa cells. The demand for HeLa cells continued to grow so much that eventually was created into an industry. The Microbiological Associates sold HeLa cells for research on cures for diseases. The HeLa cell industry is evidence of altruism and profit influenced the growth of Hela cell productions. Factories sold HeLa cells for profit ,however, the profits were used to conduct research for a polio cure.Profits are essential for medical research. It buys new equipment and technology, and pays for more researchers. Research conducted purely for altruistic reasons will not advance because resources and materials are needed in order to conduct experiments. Without the profits for resources and materials, research cannot be performed.. Profits can also be considered as a motivation for scientists. Motivation brings in attention for researchers and build their status. In the book, Dr. Gey did not receive any recognition because he did not publish his original findings. When the production of HeLa cells began to soar, Dr. Gey did not get any credit or profit. Dr. Gey’s initial purpose for sharing HeLa cells was truly altruistic. He wanted the scientific world to use the immortal cells to find a cure for cancer. Altruism is contradicted by the need for the resources, technology, and motivation. Nevertheless it was unethical to take Henrietta’s cells without her and her family’s knowledge.

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