How do social and economic factors influence health outcomes? Dr. Abdul El-Sayed explores these issues of unequal health and describes how public health can be leveraged to disrupt intergenerational poverty. (15:01)
Rockwell, D. H., Yobs, A. R., & Moore, M. B. (1964). The Tuskegee study of untreated syphilis: the 30th year of observation. Archives of Internal Medicine, 114(6), 792-798.
Schuman, S. H., Olansky, S., Rivers, E., Smith, C. A., & Rambo, D. S. (1955). Untreated syphilis in the male Negro: background and current status of patients in the Tuskegee study. Journal of Chronic Diseases, 2(5), 543-558.
DVD available in Detroit Mercy Library.The film tells the story of the Tuskegee experiment. The story is told from the perspective of the small town nurse Eunice Evers (Alfre Woodard) who is well aware of the lack of treatment, but feels her role is to console the involved men, many of whom are her direct friends. Harriet Washington (Medical Apartheid, p. 179) calls the film "irresponsibly fictionalized". (1:58:00)
Produced by The Tuskegee Human & Civil Rights Multicultural Center, Tuskegee, Alabama with a grant from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (20:24)
Human Experimentation: Bioethics
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootNow a major motion picture from HBO® starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons--as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vacci≠ uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the "colored" ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta's small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia--a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo--to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family--past and present--is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family--especially Henrietta's daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother's cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn't her children afford health insurance? Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
Call Number: RC 265.6 .L24 S55 2009 - Available in Detroit Mercy Library
The practice of disinterring cadavers (grave robbing or bodysnatching) for purposes of medical dissection was widespread in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. Those individuals who job was to secure bodies for the dissecting labs of medical colleges were known as Resurrectionists. During the 1800’s, Richmond, Virginia was a bustling market for the domestic trade in enslaved Africans, and as a consequence had become a literal black market in black bodies, both living and dead. African American cemeteries were especially vulnerable to the nighttime activities of the Resurrectionists and produced most of the anatomical material for the Medical College of Virginia. The legacy of grave robbing for medical dissection is so indelibly etched into the psyches of African Americans that today many long-time Richmond (VA) residents still recount stories from their childhood of warnings to stay clear of the Medical College of Virginia late at night for fear that they might be snatched away to the dissecting room never to be seen or heard from again. This documentary chronicles the history of this nefarious practice and its relationship to contemporary attitudes of African Americans towards medicine.
An open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on the influences of human rights violations on health in developing and transitional countries, as well as all issues relating to the impact of health policies, programs and practices on human rights.